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Group to sue over firefighting

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This item was passed on by Chris Sorensen, Fred Cooper & Chuck Sheley.

Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics will file suit against the U.S. Forest Service this week, demanding that the agency formally and publicly evaluate the environmental and social effects of wildland firefighting.

"Too many firefighters die each year in a fruitless and self-defeating war against fire," said Andy Stahl, executive director of the Oregon-based group of 12,000 former and current Forest Service employees and agency watchdogs.

The first-ever lawsuit challenging the Forest Service's firefighting mission and practices, the complaint will be filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Missoula - because, Stahl said, "Missoula is the nerve center of a huge fire industrial complex."

Missoulian Reporter Sherry Devlin can be reached by phone at 523-5268