Tag Archives: Dixie Fire

Wildfire on the mountain: who in their right mind would call this “management”?

1 Sep

Woke up to another nosebleed today. Our tiny ac unit, R2D2, died yesterday. We were using it more for air filtering than cooling, for those days when we don’t dare open the windows. But Dave sent me some good news.


Seems the Butte County Board of Supervisors stood up on their hind legs and sent a “scathing letter” to the Secty of Agriculture and the USFS Chief, calling them on the carpet for poor maintenance of our forests and using wildfires as controlled burns. Go get ’em Bill Connelly! Here’s an excerpt.

Scathing Letter

Butte County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Connelly on Aug. 12 drafted a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Chief Randy Moore over how the Dixie Fire and last year’s North Complex Fire were handled. However, the letter was revised to “make it less tense,” and to reflect the views of the entire board before it was sent.

The original draft accused the Forest Service of dereliction of duty and demanded an investigation into the way the Dixie Fire and last year’s North Complex Fire were handled.

“Because of the gross negligence of the USFS fire management philosophy, we no longer have trust and confidence in the decision-making process being used by the USFS,” it read.

The final letter was sent 12 days later. It stated: “The fire suppression philosophy of the USFS needs to be questioned. The ‘fire use policy’ which has been used consistently by the USFS [which allows a fire to burn provided it does not pose an immediate risk of damage to homes or lives] is clearly not effective in these times. This practice in recent years has not worked. With the extreme dry conditions and weather patterns, fires are able to burn over 15 miles in one day.”

The letter also acknowledges that the Forest Service has recently stated it “will discontinue this policy for this fire season.”

Both versions of the letter request reimbursement for costs related to the county’s response to the fires and recovery efforts.

I’ve also read recently and posted here that USFS Chief Randy Moore has called for an end to the current “let it burn” policy. “The letter also acknowledges that the Forest Service has recently stated it “will discontinue this policy for this fire season.” What does that mean? If only Moore would make them put this fire out NOW, instead of “managing” it for overtime and other benefits. I’m not talking about the kids who hike in with shovels and backpacks, I’m talking about the management types who drive in and out every day in their emaculate uniforms and glistening white pick-up trucks. There’s too many salary hogs at Cal Fire, not enough “boots on the ground”.

Who, in their right mind, would call this mess “management”?

Living in a constant state of disaster is unhealthy for children and other living things

30 Aug

Gee, doesn’t this wildfire scenario put COnVID in it’s proper perspective? I mean, I don’t know one person who can prove to me they had COVID (in fact, I only know one person who has claimed to have it), but I know people all around me right now are getting sick from breathing the cancer-laden smoke from these human-made and human-manipulated fires.

From the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/smoke.html

Wildfire smoke is a mix of gases and fine particles from burning vegetation, building materials, and other materials. Wildfire smoke can make anyone sick. Even someone who is healthy can get sick if there is enough smoke in the air. Breathing in smoke can have immediate health effects, including:

  • Coughing
  • Trouble breathing normally
  • Stinging eyes
  • A scratchy throat
  • Runny nose
  • Irritated sinuses
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • An asthma attack
  • Tiredness
  • Fast heartbeat

Let me add, stomach ache. The last few nights I think I’ve been swallowing air because my sinuses are so glued shut I can’t get it any other way. I wake up at 3 am with a horrible stomach ache, walk around belching and blowing my nose for 15 minutes. I’ll also add dehydration – I’m waking up several times a night, thirsty as hell, even though I’ve been drinking more water than ever. My mouth is sore, my tongue is dry, and my voice has been reduced to a croak.

So what’s the solution? “If you are told to stay indoors, stay indoors and keep your indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed unless it is very hot outside. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. Seek shelter elsewhere if you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed.”

This advice might be useful in a short-term emergency. We’ve been force-fed smoke and ash and other cancer-causing particulates for about 2 months now. Stay inside? How the fuck is a person supposed to make a living? And, according to the CDC, masks are suddenly worthless?

Do not rely on dust masks for protection. Paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonly found at hardware stores trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will not protect your lungs from smoke. An “N95” mask, properly worn, will offer some protection. If you decide to keep a mask on hand, see the Respirator Fact Sheet provided by CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

But I’m supposed to believe that a mask will stop a virus? Wow, this just gets more ridiculous every minute.

After over a year of the COnVID shutdown, we are now forced indoors and isolated by wildfires left to burn half the state. We already know what happens – more depression/mental illness, more domestic violence, more suicide.

These wildfires, like the COVID shutdown, were human-made and human perpetuated. In both instances, the cure has been worse than the disease.

Deadline for Newsom recall-related letters to Enterprise Record is September 9 – get those letters in folks! No name calling, Dammit!

20 Aug

I watched the debate televised last night, featuring California Governor candidates Kevin Kiley, Kevin Faulconer, and John Cox, and I thought they all represented themselves fairly well. I thought Kiley’s answers were the most thoughtful, I liked his stance on everything they talked about. But, I was disappointed that there were no questions about what’s on everybody’s mind in California right now – the wildfires.

Look at the Cal Trans CCTV for Chico, you can see the air quality is very unusual.

You might think there’s a storm moving in but it’s smoke and ash that are creating the cloud cover.

There is ash on my patio plants, the spiderwebs in the trees – if you stand still, you can see it showering down, tiny particles. You might as well be smoking two packs a day, is what I’m guessing. Can you believe Chico banned woodstoves years back, because smoke is bad for you!

I don’t get mad, I get even. So I wrote the following letter to the Enterprise Record. Mike Wolcott announced the other day, the cut-off date for recall-related letters is September 9. There are other rules:


No name calling.” Hah! But trash talk, personal attacks, and misinformation are okay, from what I’ve been seeing lately. Try to keep your letter on point and check your facts, have them ready, just in case Wolcott decides to perform his due diligence.

I’m voting to recall Gavin Newsom because we need to get this governor out of office and change his policies that have caused misery for so many people.

When Newsom took office he declared the state would clear underbrush and thin forests “with prescribed burns and other techniques.“ But Capitol Public Radio found “Newsom overstated, by an astounding 690%, the number of acres treated with fuel breaks and prescribed burns… Newsom has claimed that 35 ‘priority projects’ carried out as a result of his executive order resulted in fire prevention work on 90,000 acres. But the state’s own data show the actual number is 11,399.“

Instead of holding PG&E accountable after the utility was found responsible for the Camp Fire, Newsom announced his office would “broker a deal” to end PG&E’s bankruptcy. Some critics believe Newsom has given the company a gift in the form of this year’s hastily-passed legislation AB 1054, which protects power monopolies from financial accountability when they start future wildfires, after having accepted $208,400 in campaign donations from the utility in 2018.

Newsom has overseen a policy of “containment” – allow fuels to accumulate, and then let fire burn itself out, no matter the calamities it creates, lives, habitat and natural resources lost forever. My vote to recall is purely defensive – I feel like he’s trying to kill us.

Kevin Kiley, with five good years of experience in the legislature, is a good choice to replace Newsom. We need a change in leadership, now.

Steven Greenhut: “Frankly, union power drives state and local firefighting policies”

10 Aug

Thanks Cynthia for sharing this 2020 article from Ed Ring. Ring documents the 20 year decline in California forest management, citing both the Sierra Club and the firefighters unions as the problem.

I think the title is a little broad – “Environmentalists”? A word that has become just another slur for people you don’t agree with, like Tree Huggers? I consider myself an environmentalist. I believe in proper forest management, thinning of dead and dying fuel, raking and burning tree trash – “biochar”.

And yeah, if I see a good looking tree, I’m liable to hug it.

No, we’re talking about The Sierra Club, an organization made up of the rich and entitled, for the rich and entitled, and supported by the rich and entitled. They don’t represent “environmentalists” as a class of people. Hey, do you pick up litter? Do you turn off the hose when you’re not using it? Congratulations, you’re an environmentalist!

“Sen. Feinstein blames Sierra Club for blocking wildfire bill,” reads the provocative headline on a 2002 story in California’s Napa Valley Register. Feinstein had brokered a congressional consensus on legislation to thin “overstocked” forests close to homes and communities, but could not overcome the environmental lobby’s disagreement over expediting the permit process to thin forests everywhere else.

I don’t agree with Ring that the lawsuit brought us where we are today. Our courts and legislature allowed that to happen, they backed down to a PAC that also donates heavily at election time – what do you think?

In 2014, Republican members of Congress tried again to reduce the bureaucracy associated with “hazardous fuel projects” that thin out overgrown forests. True to form, the bill got nowhere thanks to environmental lobbyists who worried it would undermine the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the law that requires thorough impact assessments ahead of government decisions on public lands.

Here’s what I think – as late as 2019, Feinstein bowed to pressure from the Sierra Club and the new Sunrise Movement, as well as her coworkers in the senate, and dropped her competing “more moderate” resolution on climate change.


Her protest was weak, she really doesn’t want to go against these people. These PACs have a lot more influence than the average voter because of entrenched politicians like Dianne Feinstein. We need term limits as well as a limit on PAC contributions.

I have to agree with Ring’s friend Steven Greenhut, whom Ring quotes below – the firefighters’ unions are too powerful and they aren’t working for anybody but themselves:

Meanwhile, tragically, expect California’s politically powerful firefighters’ union to do little or nothing to support the timber industry or rural inhabitants who don’t want to move into urban condos.

As Steve Greenhut explained in a recent column in the Orange County Register: “Frankly, union power drives state and local firefighting policies. The median compensation package for firefighters has topped $240,000 a year in some locales. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection firefighters earn less, but their packages still total nearly $150,000 a year. The number of California firefighters who receive compensation packages above $500,000 a year is mind-blowing.”

No wonder firefighters are overwhelmed during California’s wildfire season. The state can’t afford to hire enough of them.

As long as PACs like Sierra Club and the unions are allowed to make enormous contributions at election time we will continue to see fire policy failure from the State of California.