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.
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.
If you read the comments on the article the displeasure is great here in Central Texas.
Obama is after Texas and anyone that doesn’t think so is very niave.
Not if you have livestock. Or even rabbits.
And nice that you got rain in June.
thought you were just addin a lil yankee drawl to their southern attempt at dialogue...
I apologize if this has been covered, but who got the Feds involved? Did Gov. Perry request their assistance?
Last I checked, Texas was still a sovereign state. By what right are the Feds invading it?
I know Perry was asking for a disaster declaration... but I don’t believe it has been answered..
FEMA is supposedly on site but they don’t have any ahem “money” anyway... its been spent in the blue states
It seems Obama isn’t “wasting a crisis”
If I had livestock it would be better. I mowed it to the ground in early August; it came right back up. Last year, it went from late May to October, still green and NO rain in that entire time. The soil is intrinsically lousy, but at least is is not suffering the allelopathic and dessicating effects of non-native annual grasses and other broad-leaf weeds.
Of course, I hand-weed it, acres, seven months a year, full-time. I am told by people who should know that ours is perhaps the only restored grassland in North America that is as purely native. You can read more about our project here.
Zero is doing this to make Perry look bad... leaving an emergency situation in Texas to go to the debates.
Zero will have single-handedly snuffed out the fire, just like he single-handedly killed OBL
Isn’t a volunteer, who is willing to put their life on the line for people they will never meet what TX needs right now?
Are the feds going to allow TX to burn to the ground? Doesn’t sound good.
I own native grassland, never been plowed.
If green bothers you that much, get a goat.