California tribes oppose fire crews at sacred site
Tribes in northern California don't want fire crews trampling on sacred sites and fishing grounds in the Six Rivers National Forest.

The Karuk Tribe, the Yurok Tribe and the Tolowa Tribe say federal officials should let the 9,400-acre Blue 2 and the 62,000-acre Siskiyou Complex fires burn naturally. They worry that containment fires could ending up causing more damage than necessary.

"If fire should move in naturally, we're comfortable with that," Chris Peters, the Yurok Tribe's liaison with the U.S. Forest Service, told the Associated Press. "But if you bring a drip torch into the Vatican and intend to ignite it, you are going to have some opposition."

The tribe still conduct ceremonies in the forest and visit the area to gather grass and baskets.

Get the Story:
Wildfires in sacred territory (The Eureka Times-Standard 8/13)
Tribes object to fighting fire in sacred places (AP 8/12)