Rhetorical Techniques Used In Peter Peterson's Hot Pot Fire

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During the summer of 2016, I fought wildland fire for the Weiser Ranger District of the Payette National Forest in Idaho. I worked on a type four heavy engine, E-421. As a firefighter, I was able to witness climate change and increasing fire activity first hand on an off forest assignment to Midas, Nevada. It was there where my module was the first to respond to the Hot Pot Fire. In a little under 36 hours, the Hot Pot Fire spread 123,000 acres. It claimed an abandoned ranch and almost consumed an entire town, six occupied ranches, and a mine. Its ferocity was truly unbelievable. The flames spread like water on the ground. The fire even created its own weather head, causing it to roll across the rangeland at 45 miles per hour. Fires of this …show more content…
She uses her ethos as the Editor of the High Country News as well as those of her first person sources. She, also, utilizes a variety of arguments to appeal to her audience. However, Peterson’s use of pathos is, by far, her most powerful tool. First of all, Peterson’s position as Editor of the High Country News has some ethos to it. She is clearly an experienced and accomplished writer. Moreover, she uses the testimonies of two others to help bolster her ethos. In the article she uses quotes from Tom Tidwell and Greg Zimmerman. Tidwell is the agency chief of the US Forest Service, and Zimmerman is the policy director for Western Priorities. Undoubtedly, they both have the credentials and position to discuss the issue. So, due to her own qualifications and those of her sources, she is able to build an incredibly strong …show more content…
She goes on to write, “While fire staffing has increase 110 percent since 1998, to 12,000 employees, the number of staffers dedicated to managing forests has dropped by 35%, to less than 11,000,” and, later, “[r]ecovery efforts for threatened and endangered species fall…[into Wildlife and Fisheries Habitat Management, which had its]…funding reduced…to…projects by 40%” (Peterson). She uses words like “dedicated” and “hurt” and phrases like “threatened and endangered” to convey her pathos. Her word choice puts emphasis on the inequality among departments and the pain suffered as a result. In addition, she discusses how good and “dedicated” people lost their jobs due to a lack of funding. She continues by arguing that “fire borrowing” also led to a reduction in the projects taken on by Wildlife and Fisheries Habitat Management. This had an adverse effect on threatened and endangered species, decreasing the overall health of the fragile ecosystem. Her pathos pulls at the reader’s heartstrings. She makes the readers think of the jobless employees and their families as well as the animals that were endanger of losing habitat and their

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