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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

PA firefighters in western wildfire fight/Should alligators be kept as pets?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Aug 1, 2018 4:25 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, August 1, 2018:

This summer is being called the worst wildfire season in over a decade in the western U.S.  There are more than 60 wildfires burning in 15 states right now.  There have been close to 90 this season.  Millions of acres have been consumed, thousands of structures destroyed and several people have been killed, including at least two firefighters.

The weather has created perfect conditions for wildfires to start and spread.  Temperatures have approached or gone over 100 degrees throughout the west, there has been little rain, the humidty levels have been low, keeping the air dry and there have been windy conditions as well.

Firefighters from all over the country have descended on the areas where the flames are burning, including dozens from Pennsylvania.

On Wednesday's Smart Talk, we'll speak with Pennsylvania's Chief Forest Fire Warden Mike Kern and Chad Northcraft, a forester who just returned from fighting fires in Nevada, about the state's contingent of firefighters and wildfires.

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Pennsylvania's Chief Forest Fire Warden Mike Kern and Chad Northcraft

Earlier this summer, an alligator was found roaming a neighborhood in Lancaster County.  It was captured by East Cocalico Township police and turned over to the Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary in Manheim. 

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Thirty-two inch alligator nicknamed Mr. Rogers

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Jesse Rothacker

The gator was probably someone's pet, got too big and was released into the wild and found itself wandering in a residential neighborhood.  It's becoming a bigger problem recently and some are calling for banning the sale of alligators as pets. 

We discuss whether alligators should be kept as pets with Jesse Rothacker, Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary on Wednesday's Smart Talk.

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Skull from an alligator estimated at 8 feet.

Check our Instagram for more photos.

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