Something Feral

Digging up the flower-beds.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Where there's smoke...

The rash of fires in California is beginning to smell like something other than smoke:
Residents expressed both pride and shock that they mostly had to fend for themselves. "This community of rugged individualists pulling together is part of the reason we love where we live," said Deborah Cahn, who with her family owns Navarro Vineyards. "But isn't this what government is supposed to do?"

On June 21, traffic on CalFire's Web site was so heavy that Boudreaux, the public information officer, could not log on to order equipment. "You got what you got," she said she was told when she called. "Nothing else is coming."

It's not fault of the fire-crews. Forest-management policy in the western United States is horrifically ineffective. It is irresponsible, malevolent and otherwise a nightmare that dumps the entirety of the risk on the residents of the states that dare not interfere, lest they be chastised with extreme prejudice. (Official nod/hat-tip to Radley Balko at

Of course, I'm not surprised that this is the attitude in Monterey County, let alone the opinion of the governing bureaucrats in California. With an official declaration of emergency, it wouldn't take much to forcibly evict residents from their homes, vandalize, and otherwise violate multiple Constitutional amendments.

Not that they'd ever do that sort of thing.


Elusive Wapiti said...

My understanding is that you don't have to evacuate under a "mandatory evac order", and the G-men can't make you.

Although I'd think twice about riding out a fire.

Frankly, I'm not surprised that residents had to fend for themselves in the fire situation. What limited resources that government--in this case, CDF and NFS--has will be taxed quickly in a real emergency. Depending on government to keep you safe is, well, unsafe, as the link to the Reason article about NO quite ably demonstrates.

Something Feral said...

It seems to me if they (the Feds) have this much trouble with maintaining their lands, they should double-dip and sell them back to the public at an accelerated rate.

We'd still have to pay property tax, they'd get the revenue from the sale, and they could route fire-management to higher-priority places federally-owned locales, as the formerly owned would have some modicum of private-owned management (ideally).

So it'll never happen, of course.