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# Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the wo

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Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
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Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the wo  [#permalink]

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25 Jun 2018, 21:11
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Difficulty:

25% (medium)

Question Stats:

77% (01:45) correct 23% (02:07) wrong based on 230 sessions

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Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the world, causing billions of dollars of damage and dozens, if not hundreds, of deaths each year. Perhaps surprisingly, most fire departments in wildfire-prone areas cite safety as their reason for choosing not to extinguish small brush fires. These small fires, they say, can help clear the dry brush and debris that fuels the large, catastrophic fires.

Which of the following, if true, provides the best justification for the fire departments’ choice to not extinguish small brush fires?

A. Only some small brush fires expand to become large, catastrophic fires.

B. Most fire departments would be unable to extinguish every small brush fire without having to hire additional staff.

C. There is no means other than fire for clearing dry brush and debris in wildfire-prone areas.

D. The most common causes of small brush fires are carelessly-discarded cigarette butts and poorly-extinguished campfires, each of which is easily preventable through fire education.

E. Small brush fires enrich the soil beneath them, leading to fertile land for agriculture and natural beauty.

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Re: Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the wo  [#permalink]

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25 Jun 2018, 22:15
1
Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the world, causing billions of dollars of damage and dozens, if not hundreds, of deaths each year. Perhaps surprisingly, most fire departments in wildfire-prone areas cite safety as their reason for choosing not to extinguish small brush fires. These small fires, they say, can help clear the dry brush and debris that fuels the large, catastrophic fires.

Which of the following, if true, provides the best justification for the fire departments’ choice to not extinguish small brush fires?

A. Only some small brush fires expand to become large, catastrophic fires.
But these do cause damage. We are looking for a reason that small fires are USEFUL

B. Most fire departments would be unable to extinguish every small brush fire without having to hire additional staff.
we are not concerned here on capability but on the USEFULNESS of these small fires

C. There is no means other than fire for clearing dry brush and debris in wildfire-prone areas.
Now that gives us a reason to allow small fires because these are the only way the fire prone items are cleared and THUS large fires are avoided

D. The most common causes of small brush fires are carelessly-discarded cigarette butts and poorly-extinguished campfires, each of which is easily preventable through fire education.
again not the cause but USEFULNESS that we are looking at

E. Small brush fires enrich the soil beneath them, leading to fertile land for agriculture and natural beauty.
TEMPTING, but we are talking of wildfires and not fertile land

C
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Re: Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the wo  [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2018, 01:17
Bunuel wrote:
Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the world, causing billions of dollars of damage and dozens, if not hundreds, of deaths each year. Perhaps surprisingly, most fire departments in wildfire-prone areas cite safety as their reason for choosing not to extinguish small brush fires. These small fires, they say, can help clear the dry brush and debris that fuels the large, catastrophic fires.

Which of the following, if true, provides the best justification for the fire departments’ choice to not extinguish small brush fires?

A. Only some small brush fires expand to become large, catastrophic fires.

B. Most fire departments would be unable to extinguish every small brush fire without having to hire additional staff.

C. There is no means other than fire for clearing dry brush and debris in wildfire-prone areas.

D. The most common causes of small brush fires are carelessly-discarded cigarette butts and poorly-extinguished campfires, each of which is easily preventable through fire education.

E. Small brush fires enrich the soil beneath them, leading to fertile land for agriculture and natural beauty.

Question Type: Strengthen

Premise: Large wildfires are disastrous causing lot of damage. The fire departments cite safety as the reason for not extinguishing small fires.

Conclusion: The small brush fires causes clearing of debris & small bush, which cause large wild fires.

Analysis: The small brush fires are a kind of safety measure against large wild fires, as the smaller fires clear the debris that acts as fuel for large wild fires.

A. Only some small brush fires expand to become large, catastrophic fires. - Weakens the conclusion. Incorrect

B. Most fire departments would be unable to extinguish every small brush fire without having to hire additional staff. - Out of scope. Incorrect

C. There is no means other than fire for clearing dry brush and debris in wildfire-prone areas. - Correct. As only small fires can get rid of the debris & dry brush, hence preventing the larger risk of large wild fires.

D. The most common causes of small brush fires are carelessly-discarded cigarette butts and poorly-extinguished campfires, each of which is easily preventable through fire education. - Irrelevant. Incorrect

E. Small brush fires enrich the soil beneath them, leading to fertile land for agriculture and natural beauty. - Irrelevant. Incorrect.

Thanks,
GyM
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Re: Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the wo  [#permalink]

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27 Jun 2018, 10:44
Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the world, causing billions of dollars of damage and dozens, if not hundreds, of deaths each year. Perhaps surprisingly, most fire departments in wildfire-prone areas cite safety as their reason for choosing not to extinguish small brush fires. These small fires, they say, can help clear the dry brush and debris that fuels the large, catastrophic fires.

Type - Strengthen

Boil it down - most fire departments in wildfire-prone areas cite safety as their reason for choosing not to extinguish small brush fires

A. Only some small brush fires expand to become large, catastrophic fires.-- Incorrect - but these some may cause damage

B. Most fire departments would be unable to extinguish every small brush fire without having to hire additional staff. -- Irrelevant

C. There is no means other than fire for clearing dry brush and debris in wildfire-prone areas. - Correct -- this prevents larger ones

D. The most common causes of small brush fires are carelessly-discarded cigarette butts and poorly-extinguished campfires, each of which is easily preventable through fire education.-- Irrelevant

E. Small brush fires enrich the soil beneath them, leading to fertile land for agriculture and natural beauty. Incorrect -- okay small fires have a positive effect but what about the risks?

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Re: Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the wo  [#permalink]

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29 Jun 2018, 03:06
1
Bunuel wrote:
Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the world, causing billions of dollars of damage and dozens, if not hundreds, of deaths each year. Perhaps surprisingly, most fire departments in wildfire-prone areas cite safety as their reason for choosing not to extinguish small brush fires. These small fires, they say, can help clear the dry brush and debris that fuels the large, catastrophic fires.

Which of the following, if true, provides the best justification for the fire departments’ choice to not extinguish small brush fires?

A. Only some small brush fires expand to become large, catastrophic fires.

B. Most fire departments would be unable to extinguish every small brush fire without having to hire additional staff.

C. There is no means other than fire for clearing dry brush and debris in wildfire-prone areas.

D. The most common causes of small brush fires are carelessly-discarded cigarette butts and poorly-extinguished campfires, each of which is easily preventable through fire education.

E. Small brush fires enrich the soil beneath them, leading to fertile land for agriculture and natural beauty.

VERITAS PREP OFFICIAL SOLUTION:

On this Strengthen question, note the potentially paradoxical logic the fire departments use. Their concern is safety (an important clue the testmakers leave in the sentence that outlines the departments' actions), so why would they choose not to extinguish small fires?

Choice (A) is inconsistent with the idea of safety. Even "only some" small fires turn into catastrophic fires, failing to extinguish them risks or sacrifices at least some safety. And that is certainly not a reason to actively choose not to extinguish them in the name of safety.

Choice (B) also falls victim to the notion of safety. If the fire departments had cited cost as their reason, then (B) totally works - hiring more firefighters to fight these small fires would certainly come at a cost. But if their cited concern is safety, the reason that "we would have to hire more people and spend more money" is not consistent with their stated goals/priorities.

Choice (C) is correct. If letting the small fires burn is the only known way to eliminate the brush that could fuel a larger fire, then choosing to not extinguish the fire works with the idea of safety - that decision is made to help prevent larger fires from having sufficient fuel to be catastrophic.

Choice (D) is incorrect in large part because of its timeline. The departments are choosing not to extinguish fires that are already burning, so relying on education to prevent new fires from starting isn't a valid reason - that solution will do nothing to help the existing fires.

And choice (E) simply misses the mark of safety - sure, the fires might leave a beautiful, productive landscape but if safety is a cost of that then the fire departments are violating their stated reason for the choice not to extinguish the fire.
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Re: Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the wo  [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2018, 18:45
Initially i was confused between A and C , then the word 'only' in choice A made difference. C should be the right answer.
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Re: Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the wo  [#permalink]

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09 Jul 2018, 18:47
Initially i was confused between A and C , then the word 'only' in choice A made difference. C should be the right answer.
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Thanks!
Do give some kudos.

Simple strategy:
“Once you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 1| GMAT Ninja YouTube! Series 2 | How to Improve GMAT Quant from Q49 to a Perfect Q51

My Notes:
Reading comprehension | Critical Reasoning | Absolute Phrases | Subjunctive Mood

Re: Large wildfires are among the most serious natural disasters in the wo &nbs [#permalink] 09 Jul 2018, 18:47
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