Skip to comments.Feds to assume control of Bastrop Co. fire; TX volunteer firemen turned away
Posted on 09/06/2011 9:07:28 PM PDT by My Favorite Headache
BASTROP Firefighting-trained volunteers from around the state converged on Bastrop and Smithville Tuesday to lend a hand to the beleaguered local firefighters battling the Bastrop County Complex Fire only to be sent away as federal officials arrived at the scene and took command, apparently because local officials never made a formal request for volunteers.
We were at the station getting set up into strike teams, and this guy came up and said that the U.S. Forest Service had assumed control of the situation, and that If you dont have a vehicle that squirts water, go home, said Gordon Greer of Kirbyville, who drove all night Monday to arrive in the town beset by the worst wildfire in Texas history. Youve got guys who had driven all night long from Corpus Christi and Brownsville on their own dime, and they turned them away. He was really a (bleep) about it.
There was a whole line of beige cars that came in this morning, tinted windows and such, Greer said.
A spokesperson with the U.S. National Interagency Incident Center, Jennifer Jones, confirmed that federal group of several different agencies would be assuming command in Bastrop County around 1 p.m. Tuesday, but had not done so when the firefighting volunteers were told to leave. April Saginor with the Texas Forest Service said her agency had not given any such order, to her knowledge, but promised to provide an update later in the day.
The question is apparently one of protocol, however.
The Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management announced via its Facebook account Tuesday afternoon that Any fire mutual aid requests would always come through (and to) Local, State and National fire service and emergency leadership. This message sent as per Texas Fire Chiefs, TIFMAS, IAFC, USFA and FEMA. If you are a fire fighter wanting to volunteer you have to be activated by the National Forestry Service first.
The Texas Forest Service issued a statement Tuesday evening that it is not requesting firefighters/retired firefighters to report to Central Texas.
"If a person wants to fight fire they can: 1. Apply for a full-time Texas Forest Service position. We are not hiring seasonals as we currently do not have the time to hire, train and certify them. 2. Join a local fire department. 3. Members of local departments should not self-dispatch. Have your fire chief contact TIFMAS Coordinator Joe Florentino at firstname.lastname@example.org"
Several of the volunteers voiced their displeasure, however, at federal agents taking charge at the scene after appeals by Texas Gov. Rick Perry for federal aid following another series of wildfires earlier this year was turned down.
Theyre willing to sacrifice the lives of the people of Bastrop just so they can come in here and pull rank, said Daniel Miller of Nederland, who had led a group of Texas Nationalist Movement members who were certified firefighters to Bastrop from the Beaumont area. Miller said he and several other members of the group would remain in the Bastrop area to aid with civilian relief efforts.
ahhhh crap...G’Luck Texans..Pullin for ya.
Must be some good Texas marijuana stands that need to stay hidden and protected.
Insurers and trial lawyers.
We’re her from the federal government and were her to help. Time for a little federal commie payback.
May God bless Texas and all who are being affected by these terrible fires.
They were simply going to let part of the town burn.
The locals defied the "order" and ended up saving their and their neighbors homes. They were willing to, and in fact did, risk their lives to save their property and were successful.
This is something beaurocrats and administrators and those the are marshalling sometimes find hard to understand. The King of England also found it hard to understand how indpendent Americans would stand for their own life and liberty.
There are times to follow evacuation orders...there are times people have to decide for themselves to risk what they will to save their own livelihood. When local people, with the same investment and understanding are at the helm, its a whole lot different than when someone like this comes in, pulls rank, and starts throwing their "imagined" weight around.
The people there in Bastrop seem to face such a situation.
Were here from the federal government and were here to help. Time for a little federal commie payback.
Damn, spelling it wrong once could be overlooked as an accident. But twice?
In nine months every woman in the effected towns will be pregnant and the transfer lists for reassignment to the Pacific Northwest will be lengthy at the US Forest Service.
No problem at all. Good points.
The Station fire was a 160,000 acre fire, almost all of it in Los Angeles county, with elevation of the fire ranging from 700 feet above sea level to 6000 feet, and raged for months. For a lot of people, they lost their homes and livelihoods from the fire, and many to this day still consider the response to the fire to be poor to just plain awful. Unfortunately, two firefighters lost their lives in the fire.
The folk art was obviously created by a local resident, and likely done while they were sheltering on the property with pretty much no hope of leaving for weeks. It was a depiction of a federal firefighter, and eventually it became a dart board for frustrated evacuees.
The most fearful words anyone can hear... ‘I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.’ I've seen the looks on people's faces when those words of doom are spoken, and honestly, for many, that was the instant they realized just how bad the situation was.
Well there you go. what Texas needs is the “Burn baby burn” slogan.
Never fear- the gubment is here.
My sincere sadness for those who have and who will lose their homes and livlihood.
Give me a freakin’ break!! Who invited those morons to the fire!!!
Our volunteers are the backbone of our first responders.
How DARE they!!
Man, we need some rain. It's gonna get worse.
The only thing going for Bastrop is the proximity of local lakes for the helicopter buckets.
and Perry was in Bastrop yesterday, promising help....hmmmm...
Prince John’s minions have made a decision.
The article does NOT say IF another request had been sent for federal aid, but, sure reads like it could have been done. If these fires are on any part of BamBamKennedy lands they would not have to ask to take control.
There does not appear to be any rain coming in the near forecast and so given the drought this year a whole lot of work is ahead.
but to be fair to the Forest Service Fire person, the Incident command structure of a sector fire is modeled after military protocols,.....you don't just dispatch yourself to Afghanistan and start shooting the place up, ....and you dont send crews into hopeless fire skirmishes to get burned up
Yep, can't have 'volunteer' firemen showing up the 'professionals' from FeralGoob.
If they had any idea how stupid they look from here, the feds would crawl back home to DC.
And I'm pretty tired of the fire-fighter/warfighter analogy. Fires suck and are difficult. But they don't shoot back with YOU as the as personal target.
FedGov ain't gonna do that, they are going to be stupid and assert control and watch it burn down.
I have very little to NO use for a feral gooberment. Waste of money, waste of time, and it just pisses me off. Better off to get rid of it.
Because when it comes to the Feds, it's all about the credentials.
And the fed, all being DC thieves themselves, assume anybody wanting to help must also be a thief who wants to loot the evacuated properties. Altruism has been completely bred out of their gene pool - the fed gene pool.
I am sure that the Joplin funds that were sent to the Hurricane Irene east coast will now be immediate re-re-diverted to central Texas.
I have a home North of that area. I know the people responding. They live there or close to Bastrop. These folks are doing their best to help their families, friends and neighbors. When the fire is out the “ people in charge” “now” will pack up and leave.
P.S. Glad you got your photo op. Will you be around next year if there is no fire? /SS
As a volunteer firefighter myself, it’s frustrating not getting called out to help when the fire is close but out of your district. OTOH, I don’t know what these guys hope to accomplish if they didn’t bring “Vehicles that squirt water.”
Fire scenes are very chaotic, and you need a good command and control sytem to plan and execute strategy and tactics.. Freelancers can be a danger to themselves and others, but I do think more effort should be made to accomodate them if they are trained and willing..
I watched helicopters dumping water on the recent Los Conchas fire here in NM. It was like watching an ant piss on a campfire. They don’t put a lot of fires out that way. they’re used more to help create a defensive perimeter, or put down a small hotspot before it gets out of control.
In our situation, we’re a bunch of mostly older guys (and women) but we’ve had a couple of lightning fires to deal with this year, with the drought. Believe me, when reinforcements show up, we’re more than happy to accommodate them. It is the hottest, nastiest work you can imagine. Love it, though...
Prayers up for Texas. Been there, done that.
And WTF are you talking about photo op? I don't let family take pictures of me and the grandkids...
Oh, you had a /s there. I'm not terribly sarcasmic. I just want the bullshit to stop. And as far as I can see, the federal government we established has outlived it's usefulness. No sarcasm involved there. Just plain unvarnished truth. I'll take my state gooberment over a feral one.
I’m a bit confused. Earlier this evening you indicated you wanted the FedGov to come here to Central Texas and help. Now, you indicate that you do not want the Feds here helping with the fires.
Which is it?
I don’t know of the credentials of those who volunteered but wildland fire fighting is very dangerous work and not for the untrained. Any incident commander who allowed unsolicited amateurs on a fire would be taking great risks with the lives of the volunteers, the public and the trained professional crews.
“Hello. I am from the federal government, and I am here to help you”.
Only Union government fire fighters are necessary Volunteers will only get in the way of overtime.
Uh-oh... Be careful what you wish for...
During the Hayman fire in CO the Feds’ interference did more to keep the fire burning due to their idiotic regulations (not allowing dozers to put in firebreaks, refusing to let people tend to their own structures at their own risk, etc...).
I’ll be praying EXTRA hard now for those in Texas dealing with these fires as dealing with the fire AND the bureaucratic BS is most likely going to compound this nightmare.
AMEN, Jeff! I witnessed the exact same thing in CO.
Theyre willing to sacrifice the lives of the people of Bastrop just so they can come in here and pull rank,
It’s a slap in the face, and a put down to Perry. It’s a political move typical of the Democrats Politics 24/7, they will use for campaigning in Texas next year.
The asshats never miss a chance to campaign for their purposes no matter who loses a home in a fire.
Well, this is what happens when you ask for Federal aid; the Feds will take charge of the situation...
My dad works for the USFS and is on a FEMA team...his own team is often frustrated by the red tape and gov’t ineptness, but they do their best. He got the activation call on Monday and flew to TX on the first plane.
The gov’t doesn’t take walk ins, you have to be on a fire team to fight the fire. They can’t take chances by sending out just anyone who walks in...that’s way too much to manage.
There’s such a thing called the Incident Command System that the feds use; during a disaster the ICS is drawn up showing who is in charge and how the fed and state agencies are supposed to work together. His team absolutely hates going to TX b/c people there are very unwilling to work with the system.
That's the best compliment for Texas that I've seen in a long time.
Yup, most Texan aren't sheep--we can think for ourselves.
Since these fires have been so hard to control, due to the heat, the drought, and the high winds I'm not sure anybody could have done a better job than was done.
Nope--we aren't too happy to have to deal with the feds--ever. This is one situation, though, that is hard too control. If the feds can get a handle on it, fine...but I doubt that they can do a lot more. There is just so much food to keep feeding these fires, and until they have devoured all or most of it, I don't think the fires will be put out completely.
I heard a couple days ago about this supposed call for any and all firefighters with experience to show up. It was on local news but did not name WHO was making the call.
Leave it to some jerk to cause trouble during this disaster.
The REAL story is of the wonderful PRIVATE citizens that are housing, feeding and providing anything they can to the fighters and the victims.
How about a story about THAT?
As the fire was closing in on one mans ranch he was beating a drum and his cattle came running to him.
A woman rounded up her goats, horses and pets, she was on the side of the road with her animals and a man stopped and offered one of his pens for her animals.
A minister and his fam (personal and church) were feeding thousands when they found out they lost their home.
Actually, the authorities are trying to locate some teens who are suspected to have started the blaze.
I know you’re trying to be clever. . .
There’s not enough moisture here to keep grass alive, legal or otherwise.
Give it a rest.
Fighting a fire is not analogous to war. There may be people in government who treat it that way, but the situation is vastly different, particularly in rural areas where local knowledge can be very powerful in dealing with a conflagration.
The unionized "firefighters" in this area have never seen my property. I've managed the vegetation around my home, but the terrain is VERY steep, so there simply is no possibility of denuding the slopes. Thus, no matter what anybody does, a fire coming in would from below would burn the house unless the situation is managed correctly.
With a chainsaw and about thirty minutes, I can have all the residual fuel within 100 feet on the ground. With a drip torch and about ten minutes, that fuel would be gone, safely, as a fire is easily managed from the top down (there is no understory fuel below the slope. I have a fire suit and hoses. I could do it ALL myself, and have a cup of coffee in the process.
Our unionized bureaucrat "firefighters" have NO interest in developing an advance plan for managing fire on this property, the same kind of advanced plan they have for every factory in the valley below (it's called a "run sheet"). Why not? They don't want to be responsible for managing a fire. It's easier to call it an "act of God" and let the claims adjusters deal with it. Then the insurers get to raise the rate base statewide. So, our "wild-land firefighters" (many of them women) get to sit and drink coffee, while collecting overtime. The prisoners from the State prison get to do the hard dirty work of mopping it up.
You caught that too, huh. There's a joke going around about needing a campaign picture of him lighting a fire. Big disaster + Perry doing a 'I got this' = Votes.
You'd be surprised what native perennial bunch grasses can handle in the way of drought stress once they have a compliment of native forbs to prepare the soil.
I have sandy soil. It hasn't rained here since June. We have had 90°F temperatures here for most of three months. I still have green grass.
See post 43.
There are NO national parks anywhere near any of these fires. They have NO business sticking their noses into our business. There are a couple of Texas state parks, but NO national lands.
Perry is free to attend debates, now.