President Clueless About Wildfires

Obama is clueless about a lot of stuff, so it is no surprise that he is in the dark about wildfires.

Obama and his Admin have proved themselves useless in a crisis many, many times. Now as we enter the 2010 fire season, the White House is proving that wildfires — like oil spills, financial meltdowns, and other disasters — are completely beyond their ken.

Note the Presidential utterances of yesterday:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release, June 22, 2010 [here]

President Obama Receives Update on Arizona Wildfires and Calls Governor Brewer
Earlier today President Obama was updated by senior staff on the ongoing response to the wildfires in Arizona and the Administration’s continued work with state and local officials to fight it. Under the President’s direction, both the U.S. Forest Service and FEMA have been in close contact with state and local emergency management officials and continue to monitor the fire activity. The U.S. Forest Service is actively working to support state and local forest fighting efforts and is managing the fires through high level, inter-agency management teams. The Governor of Arizona has made two requests for Fire Management Assistance Grants for the Hardy fire and the Shultz fire; both grants were awarded on the day the requests were made at the direction of the President.

The President also called Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to express his concerns about the wildfires threatening homes and businesses across the state and to assure her of the continued support of the federal government in helping state and local officials protect people’s lives and property. The President indicated that the U.S. Forest Service, under his direction, is actively engaged and working with state and local teams to manage the immediate response to the fires and reinforced that FEMA will continue to closely monitor the fires and remains in close contact with state and local officials. The President offered praise for the tireless efforts of the local and state emergency management officials working around the clock to fight and contain the fires, mobilize resources, carry out evacuations and coordinate shelters, and asked the Governor to keep him updated on additional support the State needs as the response continues.

Note that the press release states “the U.S. Forest Service and FEMA have been in close contact with state and local emergency management officials and continue to monitor the fire activity” and “the U.S. Forest Service, under his direction, is actively engaged and working with state and local teams to manage the immediate response to the fires.”

Those are just plain clueless misstatements. Federal IMT’s are fighting the fire, not monitoring it. The Schultz Fire [here, here] is not a local or state suppression operation, per se, although a variety of crews from a variety of locales across the Nation are involved. The fire began on unkempt Federal land, and the Coconino NF requested the Southwest Type 1 Incident Management Team, Dugger Hughes Incident Commander. Eight federally contracted air tankers are making the most significant impact and have saved North Flagstaff from incineration.

It is the Federal disaster response apparatus that is fighting the fire. The IMT’s are directed by the National Interagency Fire Center [here] headquartered in Boise, ID. The IMT’s also respond to disasters other than fires, such as floods, hurricanes, etc. They are not FEMA, nor are they the US Forest Service.

NIFC Mission [here]

The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), located in Boise, Idaho, is the nation’s support center for wildland firefighting. Eight different agencies and organizations are part of NIFC. Decisions are made using the interagency cooperation concept because NIFC has no single director or manager.

“The President offered praise for the tireless efforts of the local and state emergency management officials working around the clock to fight and contain the fires…” Well hey, everybody likes praise, but the actual job of fighting and containing the fire is being done by the Southwest Type 1 Incident Management Team, not local and state emergency management officials.

But the incompetence of the White House regarding forest fires goes deeper than mere cluelessness.

The fact is the Obama Admin has promoted Let It Burn by appointing anti-forest, pro-fire political operatives to the Wildland Fire Leadership Council, by expanding roadlessness and wilderness, and through backroom secret deals for more National Monuments.

The stacking of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Advisory Committee [here] with anti-restoration, Let It Burn types is the latest affront, but the push for more Fed land to be put off-limits to fire suppression has shown up in the Cohesive Strategy, global warming alarmism, National Park Service policy, National Forest policy, Federal “conservation” easements, roadless rule redux, transportation plan road decommissioning, wilderness expansion, etc.

Obama, our grad student President from Chicago or Kenya or somewhere, is himself clueless about natural resource and land management issues, but true to predictions he has opened the White House and his Administration to the kookiest people on the Left. The Executive Branch is crawling with fire bugs right now, and this summer we will suffer disaster after disaster if those bugs get in the way of fire suppression (as is their stated political mission).

The Schultz Fire outside of Flagstaff has been predicted for 30 years. Dr. Wally Covington, his Ecological Restoration Institute at NAU [here], the City of Flagstaff, and community groups like the Greater Flagstaff Forest Partnership [here] have all pushed and pushed for fuel treatments and restoration. Everyone with half a brain recognized that a-historical fuel loadings have accumulated in a wind tunnel/venturi between the mountain peaks, and the accelerated winds are aimed directly at Flagstaff. The ongoing efforts and pleadings by ERI, GFFP, foresters and others to reduce the hazards through restoration have been thwarted again and again by radical anti-stewardship groups, the very same groups that have been given high-ranking positions within the Obama Admin.

Obama operatives are opposed to the use of fire retardant, opposed to aerial firefighting, opposed to direct attack, opposed to dozers and other machinery on fires, and opposed to fuel reduction projects. Those kooks are in the inside now, not just kibitzing from the outside.

This summer the IMT’s are going to be caught between doing real fire suppression and political arm-twisting to Let It Burn. We have already seen that arm twisting in numerous fires this Spring [here] including the Medano Fire, South Fork Fire, Aspen Fire, Paradise Fire, and many fires in Alaska.

And fire season has just started!

It is clear that Obama and his spin doctors do not know who fights wildfires in America. They are not aware of the NIFC, or the Fed IMT system, or how wildfire disasters are dealt with. They think it’s a local operation monitored by the USFS. They are ignorant beyond belief. Even worse, the riff-raff Obama gave the keys to the Executive Branch to are pro-holocaust.

That is very dangerous. Obama and his Admin pose a threat to America. The Left has long been at war with the residents of the West. That war continues unabated, in fact exacerbated, on multiple fronts, from border to border.

Duck and cover. The worst is yet to come.

Sidenote: does anyone know where we can contribute to the Stan McChrystal for President in 2012 Campaign?

24 Jun 2010, 11:29am
by Ned P.

It is not surprising that this administration is clueless about the National Forests. The person writing this news release and Obama’s call to Governor Brewer are political attempts to show they are on top of events. One would think they would have checked with Chief Tidwell who must know that the fires are the responsiblity of the United States Forest Service.

It is starting to look like Idaho may escape a serious fire season this year. June has set records for being cool and moist. It would take three weeks of hot and dry weather for N. Idaho to have serious fire weather. One good rain in mid July and another one in August and this season will be over. There is more than normal vegetation growth but my experience is that a wet spring leads to a wet summer.

24 Jun 2010, 5:48pm
by Larry H.

My year on the fire crew on the Boise in 1983 was one of those wet years. I got to do initial attack on just one fire during a 2 month fire season. I was laid off during the first week in September. We sure had plenty of lightning, though!!



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