Skip to comments.Request to fight fire was denied (Sour Biscuit Fire, California)
Posted on 08/16/2002 10:10:24 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
Published: August 16, 2002
By Kent Gray, Triplicate staff writer
Fire officials have acknowledged a request was made to attempt to extinguish the Biscuit Fire when it was only 100 acres, but that request was turned down.
"They offered to make one run on the fire to do bucket work for one fuel cycle," said Paul Galloway, information officer for the Biscuit Fire said. "But management didn't believe that would be helpful. There were no ground crews to take advantage of it and it would have had minimal effect."
Del Norte County Supervisor Chuck Blackburn said yesterday the helicopter crew believed it could have made an impact.
"The helicopter offered to try and make an impact and they were told no," said Blackburn. "... I can't say for sure. Maybe it couldn't have been put out. But I've been talking to people who should know, and the people I have talked to said it could have, and should have, been put out."
Blackburn, who said he will not reveal the names of those who have confided in him, said he has been analyzing the fire response for two weeks and has come to the conclusion more could have been done.
"I think there was a problem between the regions and getting permission to go in and put the fire out," he said. "I'm not after people's names or pointing fingers. I just want to make sure that regions don't become a problem, the stateline doesn't become a problem, so years down the road when this reoccurs we don't have a problem."
The incident with the California Department of Forestry helicopter occurred on July 14, one day after the Sour Biscuit Fire was ignited by a lightning strike in the Siskiyou National Forest. Galloway said the fire, centered in a remote and roadless section of forestland, was reportedly 100 acres in size at that time.
The Biscuit Fire was one of "hundreds" that sparked throughout Oregon around the same time, Galloway said. Because of this, resources were stretched thin on July 13 and no crews were assigned to the Sour Biscuit blaze until July 14, and those crews basically attempted to make roads into the area.
The first report of the Biscuit blaze was received at 3:15 p.m. from a fixed-wing reconnaissance flight in the area. At 3:50 p.m., another blaze was spotted at Carter Creek.
"There was confusion whether or not there were two fires at first," said Galloway. "Folks from the Six Rivers National Forest also saw smoke in the area and reported it. It was determined later there was only one fire (in the Biscuit area)."
Rick Addy, the federal manager for the Six River National Forest, said interstate fire response is common, with some exceptions.
"The closest forces will respond to a fire, like with a lightning strike, and after the initial attack they take care of theirs and we take care of ours," Addy said. "Except for aircraft. They have to be coordinated because it's not safe to mix aircraft. There's a real safety issue involved."
Galloway said there was no aircraft assigned to the Biscuit blaze on July 14 when the helicopter aid was declined.
Blackburn said an offer from ground crews, with the Gasquet Ranger District in the Six Rivers National Forest, to attack the blaze was also declined in Oregon's Region Six. Galloway said he could find no official mention of this offer.
Galloway said his reports mention no managers' names or offices where the decisions originated from.
Further complications arose with the Sour Biscuit Fire between July 27 and Aug. 1, after the fire entered into California. Blackburn said helicopters were idled in Gasquet while a change of command was being prepared and aircraft communication frequencies were in limbo.
"Nothing was happening here because everything was coming out of Oregon," Blackburn said. He said at 10 a.m. on Aug. 1, he watched opportunities to fight the blaze being squandered because crews were told to wait until 6 p.m.
"They were flying into the Shelley Creek Fire with water and Linda Szczepanik (incident commander of Shelley Creek) was trying to get frequencies released for the Biscuit Fire. I stood there and watched, but she couldn't get the frequencies released. So there's another eight hours lost for Sour Biscuit."
Galloway said it will be at least another week before he can compile a chronology for communications and decisions from fire managers for late July and early August.
Meanwhile, Blackburn said local counties must be proactive if they want to avert similar problems in the future. Blackburn said a meeting is being coordinated for late September between Del Norte County and the Oregon counties of Curry and Josephine to reach agreements with Forest Service Regions Five and Six, the California Division of Forestry, the Oregon Division of Forestry along with local fire officials and legislators.
"We have a good opportunity here to resolve any future problems," said Blackburn. "I'm not calling this meeting to say you screwed up' or he screwed up.' I'm saying What can we do to see that this never happens again?'"
The Sour Biscuit Fire, which eventually burned more than 48,000 acres in Oregon and California, later merged with the larger Florence Fire in Oregon. The combined fire was renamed the Biscuit Fire and is currently responsible for nearly 400,000 acres of scorched forestland.
The Kali Floristry Circus Clowns posing as Forestry Service People have a lot of questions to answer with this revelation.
This is the same Bravo Sierra stuff that Lars Larson discussed with the owner of the Helicopter Service chartered to fight the fires in SW Oregon.
It appears that the Floristry Circus Clowns posing as foresters, really love the rural cleansing effect of natural fires!
That means they are dangerous to just about everyone in the Northwest! The madness must cease!!!
It's the process that matters, and only the devine processors are qualified to make and implement policies and procedures by which only they will "do something about it."
We, on the other hand, are to fulfill what is expected of us:
On election day, show up and vote. Otherwise, leave "the nation's business" to the like-minded, politically correct, echo-chamber ensemblies.
The managers in their offices are a HUGE part of the problem. They go to college for four years and are indoctrinated into the left-wing socialist school of Geaia, then they think they know more tabout forestry than the guys with years of field experience. It's the same all over the country, and the entire USFS needs to THIN OUT these morons. They do almost nothing but damage.
In NY State, Hubby's doing a difficult job on a steep side hill, which was started and abandoned by someone else. The mistakes made by the guys who started and quit have made a difficult job into a real nightmare to a guy with twenty years of forestry experience.
Along comes this rep from the Western NY office of the USFS. Hubby described him as a "snot nosed brat" who looked about 14. Snot Nose proceded to lecture Hubby, a former Hotshot, on how to prevent forest fires. Hubby tried to take it in good grace...until Snot Nose seemed skeptical about Hubby's many certifications.
It turned into an argument, though Hubby did get to meet Snot Nose's boss...another former firefighter who was at Yellowstone with Hubby.
Snot Nose didn't take it well...he went back to his office and proceded to call the DEC and tell them there was dirt and bark on the bridge across the creek, and that they should some out and look and make Hubby get out with a broom and sweep the debris off the bridge after every single trip, because rain might wash the dirt and bark from the bridge and "contaminate his river"...as if dirt and debris from a steep hillside has never washed into the river.
The DEC did come...they also told Hubby who had called and said Snot Nose has done this before. They did NOT make him weep off the bridge after every trip across.
These morons are everywhere...and they need to be FIRED. PERIOD.
New fire reported in Mount Jefferson Wilderness
Detroit - The Forest Service is reporting a new wildfire in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness north of Marion Lake and Three Fingered Jack. The fire is reported today at about 100 acres. Officials don't know the cause...(snip)LINK to story
Biscuit Fire forces evacuation of Oak Flats.
Grants Pass - Residents of about 30 homes south of Agness were ordered to evacuate Thursday evening as Biscuit Fire flames came within a mile of the neighborhoods of Oak Flats and Spud Road...(snip)
LOL, I'd say he's more the HUA type until he gets some actual field experience under his belt...then he will progress to a UAH.
The whole fedgov, especially Forestry, Natural Resources and the EPA are LOUSY with them. They have no idea what they are doing or talking about...they're nothing more than overpaid red tape jockeys. They need to be gotten rid of before they literally destroy this country.
Coordination is an unheard of, unpracticed, unsuccessful technique when initiated amongst federal agencies. Their qualifications for success are so far below private levels that we call them 'A Complete Failure".
I wonder who is going to manage the sewage spouted at this late September meeting? Why hasn't the EPA been notified?
The fires won't be out by then so I view this as a chance to get their lies in line to cover their sorry asses when the final investigation comes. Someone is going to want to know why they spent $100 million dollars when it could have been done for $10,000.
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