Federal vs State

Posted by $ rockymountainpirate 6 years, 3 months ago to Government
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There was a drastic shortage of equipment and personnel last fire season. When you lose your property in a wildland fire, here's one of the reasons.
SOURCE URL: http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/montana-feds-make-deal-on-use-of-firefighting-helicopters/article_31c26113-4b0c-5de5-aef1-2a2637870818.html

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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 6 years, 3 months ago
    The Federal refusal to permit backfires and clearing of underbrush "for the sake of the environment" is behind nearly all of the big wildfires. The most effective protection of wildlife comes from efforts by hunters and fisherman's organizations, like Ducks Unlimited. Maybe if private organizations, under state oversight, took over management of the "protected" land, we'd see less fire problems?
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  • Posted by freedomforall 6 years, 3 months ago
    Make it all private, with free market fire service. If you can't afford to protect your property, don't buy or build there. Don't expect government (other taxpayers) to fix your stupid economic decisions.
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  • Posted by ObjectiveAnalyst 6 years, 3 months ago
    Hello RMP,
    It is way past time to reinvigorate and enforce federalism. States rights have been undermined for too long. The Feds need to be put in their Constitutionally limited box again. If all they do is for our own good, why is it always so bad for property owners? Time for an article five convention. There should be accountability for elected officials that violate state and individual rights.
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 3 months ago
    The federal government controls federal lands. They had rules put in place in response to crashes. I appreciate the fact that the state's helicopters were retrofitted for more power, and that needed to be negotiated.

    The issue is that the state wanted to get PAID for responding to fires on federal lands and the federal government did not accept the offer for technical reasons.

    Second: Wildfires are part of life in the woods. We know that "fighting" them now only makes them worse later. They serve a purpose. I often imagine Redwoods being thankful for the cleaning out of all those pushy pines. The ashes from fires put nutrients back in the soil.

    Third: I do not see where your private property comes into this, unless you bought and built adjacent to federal land. If you do not like the federal government, why do you get so close to them?

    Fourth: While we do see the losses now in Ft. McMurray, Alberta, and we do have many similar stories from California, the problems are rooted in being so close to wild nature. The city of McMurray -- the city (ahem) "planners" -- never considered any preventions or remediations, even though forest fires are a fact of life in the forest.

    Cleveland, Ohio, calls itself "The Forest City" and even has an "Emerald Necklace" but it never had the problem of a wild forest fire.
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    • Posted by $ 6 years, 3 months ago
      As usual Mike you are pontificating on something you know little about. The fires are fought only when they are threatening property.

      Here are some facts for you. I can cite more.

      According to the NIFC, 2015 saw more than 68,000 wildfires burn over 10 million acres.

      The U.S. Forest Service reports that 2015 was also the most expensive wildfire season on record, costing $1.71 billion for the year. This total surpasses the previous record of $1.67 billion set in 2002.

      A total of 4,636 structures were destroyed by wildfires in 2015, including more than 2,600 homes and more than 100 commercial buildings

      The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) cites more than 72,000 U.S. communities are at risk from wildfires.
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      • Posted by $ blarman 6 years, 3 months ago
        I live only a few miles from the Interagency Fire Center for the Western United States and have a coworker who's husband is a full-time firefighter. He's typically gone all summer fighting fires.

        Some of the problems with fighting fires are mother nature herself (terrain being a huge one, ie MOUNTAINS). As for property damage, that's pretty much inevitable nowadays because so many people have cabins in the mountains, and it isn't uncommon for those things to run $200,000. Multiply that by 2,600 and you're not talking chump change in damages. And while being a firefighter pays well, it is an incredibly physically demanding job. Those guys work 12-14 hours a day for a couple of weeks before getting a break, and they are hiking up and down mountains (usually without trails) in many cases.
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        • Posted by $ 6 years, 3 months ago
          True. Fire camps are mini cities. It's not just the hand crews either. Engines, Water Tenders, Dozers, Skidgines, Fallers etc are usually contractors. A much better bang for the tax payers buck. The fires are managed by federal or state agencies.
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          • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 6 years, 3 months ago
            In that case things have changed. I was assigned once upon a time to a federal reserve unit known as National Guard. I say that instead of a state unit as the Feds share of their budget was 95% and their control was 100%. It's not 'National' for nothing.

            Fire season ...most of the unemployed called in they were going to the federal fire crews. That excused them from guard drills or they did make up later. Some time later another group went to the State crews. Same deal pay was a bit less.

            Some time later we got a call to provide field mess units (kitchens) with trucks and water trailers and other vehicles with drivers. These were activated Guard jobs that paid whatever their rank paid and counted for guard retirement at 65. Only problem was their were no cooks nor drivers, nor mechanics etc. etc. etc. They were all working for the high dollar federal and state fire crews. that meant call in the and activate those with regular jobs which meant a pay cut in most places. But most meant a handfull when 30-50 were required.

            At the same time the rotating fireline crews would come into the Armory for showers, unlimited pizza delivered no charge by the local pizza chains and other goodies. Clean clothes and local laundries fixed up their soot filled clothes, new tool issues and a night of good sleep then back they went. rotating. Some of them were our own unit members. tools etc. were delivered to the armory in 40 of each type crates shovels, axes, pulaskis water sprayers back pack type, etc. and other items. When the fire was over we'd have two or so complete or near complete sets. They were never picked up. Quietly we were told to outfit out homes and gardens or firewood splitting areas.

            the fire retardent pants and shirts, helmets, boots likewise.

            everyone loved fire season. then the guys would come back and do make up drills to keep their retirement points up and not miss any of the weekend drill dollars.

            'well managed?" You got that right. not one budget dollar was left unspent.

            That was near four decades ago. No idea what 'well managed' means these days.
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            • Posted by $ 6 years, 3 months ago
              I said managed, not well managed. Shower units are contractors, food contractors, lunches contractors. Contractors buy their own very expensive fire clothes and boots etc. Also the very, very expensive fire shelters, aka shake and bakes.

              I have seen guard units, often they are manning road blocks, but they do still get called in. It might also depend on the region you are in what is used. Volunteer departments are only supposed to be Initial Attack, but I have seen them stay rather than returning to protect what the local tax payers are paying them to protect.
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              • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 6 years, 3 months ago
                That was in the 1980s and things I hope have changed All the fire line people deserve praise it's a hard nasty job of work. but the managers...not so sure about them.
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    • Posted by $ jdg 6 years, 3 months ago
      In the original, natural state of things (meaning there wasn't that much underbrush, and there were no homes built in the woods), letting fires burn made sense. To let them burn now would be the kind of major disaster that happened in the last couple of years in southern and central California.

      A sensible policy now would be for homeowners in the woods to bulldoze fire breaks between themselves and the rest of the forest, and to go out and agressively clean up the undergrowth in those forest areas that still have way too much of it. Then we could safely go back to letting the fires burn.
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