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  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post The blame game starts in Callyfornyuh

    SAN DIEGO (AP) - The Southern California wildfires have been
    vanquished, but the second-guessing is in full swing.
    Politicians and residents have a lot of questions about how the
    wildfires managed to do so much damage, scorching more than 740,000
    acres, burning about 3,600 homes and killing 22 people. They were
    the most destructive wildfires to ever hit California.
    In hard-hit San Diego County, they want to know whether a lack
    of coordination and equipment hindered the firefighting effort and
    prevented communities from being saved. President Bush, Gov. Gray
    Davis and a 1932 state law have all come under criticism.
    "There's a distinct amount of anger, fear, confusion and
    concern," said San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob.
    Unlike other large counties in California, San Diego County does
    not have a consolidated fire agency. Instead, more than 50 agencies
    serve the county, including small volunteer departments, city crews
    and the U.S. Forest Service. But when wildfires hopscotch across
    boundary lines, communication and coordination can suffer.
    "I think the county should step up to the plate and take
    responsibility for fire protection," said Kevin Dubler, fire chief
    of the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District.
    Jacob has pushed consolidation for years, but said it has been
    opposed by many communities, especially rural ones. A county task
    force is to issue a report in December, something Jacob hopes will
    lead to a combining of county firefighting resources.
    The lack of air support at times, and the red tape involved in
    putting firefighting planes in the air, have also led to scrutiny.
    The first helicopter to spot the big San Diego fire radioed for
    backup, but never got it. It was too late in the day and state
    rules regulating night-flying prohibited it. Officials and
    residents say the rules need changing.
    Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who lost his home in the fire,
    criticized Gov. Gray Davis for not deploying available military
    planes. But the Davis administration cited a 1932 law that requires
    civilian resources to be exhausted first. Now many say those
    restrictions need to be scrapped.
    The one helicopter the city of San Diego had on hand was not
    used because the city and county let the lease expire and it was
    sent to the fires in San Bernardino, earning Mayor Dick Murphy his
    share of criticism.
    "It's just a matter of which is more important," Murphy said.
    "More firefighters? More firetrucks? Or a helicopter? You have
    limited resources."
    The Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to create a regional
    aerial fire protection district. The county wants to put the
    measure before voters by March. The Legislature would also have to
    sign off on the idea.
    But in the past two decades, most ballot measures that would
    have raised money for county fire protection were rejected.
    State officials are also pointing fingers at the Bush
    administration, saying it was slow to combat the threat posed by
    tinder-dry trees killed by a bark beetle infestation. The governor
    asked federal emergency officials in April for $430 million to
    clear the dead trees, but the request was rejected just as the
    wildfires began to spread.
    "This finger-pointing is not going to do anybody any good any
    more," Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge said in defending the
    decision.
    The government said it turned down Davis' proposal largely
    because Congress had already agreed to provide $43 million this
    year for fighting the beetle infestation and the sum seemed
    appropriate at the time.
    Bruce Cain, director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at
    the University of California at Berkeley, said the finger-pointing
    between state officials and Washington is "a legacy of the
    bitterness that we've had in our politics over the past couple of
    years."
    It doesn't much matter to Marcia Seiler-Christy, whose daughter,
    Christy-Anne Seiler Davis, 42, died in the fires.
    "They need to stop blaming each other and learn from what
    happened and correct the problem," Seiler-Christy said. "I'm sure
    it could have been done better, but I just can't see blaming. It
    doesn't help anything."
    ---
    EDITOR'S NOTE - Angie Wagner is the AP's Western regional
    writer, based in Las Vegas.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


  2. #2
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post

    SAN DIEGO (AP) - A top U.S. Forest Service official defended his
    agency's handling of the deadly Cedar Fire, saying the response to
    the first call was "large, immediate and very experienced" but
    that firefighters were unable to reach the fire's origin without
    unduly risking their lives.
    Rich Hawkins, the Forest Service's acting chief of firefighting
    and aviation for Southern California, said that attempting to use a
    winding, sloping, rutted road to get firefighting rigs to the blaze
    the night of Oct. 25 while it was still small could have resulted
    in "a massive firefighter mortality situation."
    Instead, firefighters decided to let the fire burn until it
    reached an area more accessible to equipment, Hawkins said Friday.
    The Cedar Fire ultimately burned nearly 280,000 acres, destroyed
    more than 2,200 homes and killed 14 people. Questions have been
    raised about whether authorities were slow to respond or took every
    available measure when the fire broke out.
    An offer by a San Diego County Sheriff's Department helicopter
    pilot to dump water on the fire was refused because of a flight
    rule that grounds aircraft as the sun drops below the horizon.
    Sheriff's helicopters, with 100-gallon buckets, would not have
    made a difference on a fire described as "five football fields of
    flame" by about 6:30 p.m., when the helicopter offer was made,
    Hawkins said.
    The next day, the California Department of Forestry refused help
    from Navy helicopters because the pilots lacked state
    certifications.
    "The problem wasn't about aircraft," Hawkins said. "If we
    could have driven to the fire, we could have extinguished it. It
    was the roadless nature of the fire's origin that is the story."
    Hawkins said that as many as 340 firefighters had responded
    within 30 minutes of the first call. But the closest access road to
    the fire was a half-mile away and made more treacherous by
    darkness.
    Firefighters had hoped that wind would remain mild and they
    would face a fire of no more than 1,000 acres, which could have
    been extinguished, he said.
    But they also knew that "if the wind did surface, we wouldn't
    have enough firefighters." Once the fire reached an accessible
    area, Hawkins said, "We made our best effort."
    Hawkins said a preliminary investigation by the Cedar Fire
    Initial Attack Fact Finding Team determined that fire crews
    responded within two minutes of the first reports, access to the
    blaze was severely limited, and evacuations were ordered before the
    fire jumped the San Diego River and began racing toward homes.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  3. #3
    Forum Member Robertsc's Avatar
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    Default reminds me of this i read

    Firemen Don't Have A Chance
    When the fire trucks are delayed 40 seconds in traffic, People say:
    "It took them 20 minutes to get here."

    When the truck races at 40 m.p.h., it's:
    "Look at those reckless fools."

    When four men struggle with an eight-man ladder:
    "They don't even know how to raise a ladder."

    When firemen open windows for ventilation to reduce heat in fighting a fire:
    "Look at the wrecking crew."

    When they open the floor to get at a blaze:
    "There goes the axe squad."

    If the chief stands back where he can see and direct his men, people say:
    "He's afraid to go where he sends his men."

    If they lose a building:
    "It's a lousy department."

    If they make a good "stop" folks say:
    "The fire didn't amount to much."

    If lots of water is necessary:
    "They are doing more damage with water than the flames."

    If a fireman gets hurt:
    "He was a careless guy."

    It a citizen gets hurt:
    "It's a crazy department."

    If a fireman inspects a citizen's property:
    "He's meddling in somebody bgproperties="fixed"'s business."

    If he wants a fire hazard correct:
    "I'll see the mayor."

    If he gets killed and leaves a family destitute:
    "That's the chance he took when he joined the fire department."
    Author: Unknown
    www.RescueHouse.com.

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