Joint effort to fight wildfire?

monocourthouse2008With three droughts in a row and fire danger very high, what can counties in the Sierra Nevada area do? The Sierra County Supervisors believe the 22 counties in question should pull together and ask the State and Federal governments for help with fire protection and fuel reduction. The Mono Supervisors will consider Sierra County Supervisors’ ideas.

The Sierra County Board sent a letter to affected counties asking for them to pass resolutions proclaiming a local state of emergency based on fire severity conditions and buildup of fuels. They also suggest involving other agencies and a process similar to a past presidential forum created when the Tahoe area experienced this kind of fire danger in 1997.

The Sierra County Board wants an action plan supported by the 11 Sierra nevada area counties and wants Mono County to support the campaign. For whatever reason, this letter does not appear on the Inyo County Board agenda for this week.

The Sierra Board says a resolution declaring a local state of emergency by the 22 counties would be the “beginning of a campaign to develop a long-term sustainable program to reduce wild land fire severity conditions of public and private lands.”

A report by this Board refers to the devastating Rim fire last year that destroyed 400 square miles in Yosemite National Park. The report also says that the Regional Forester has failed to meet a goal of treating 500,000 acres annually in California for restoration and reduction of fuels.

Now, it’s up to the Mono Board to respond to the requests.


11 Responses to Joint effort to fight wildfire?

  1. Mark August 11, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    You want a reduction in fuel just let the naturally started fires burn.

    Fire suppression reminds me of the war on drugs

    a loosing battle where those in authority with no responsibility make all the money

  2. Ken Warner August 11, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    The Eastern Sierra has painted itself into a corner — so to speak. Expensive homes and tourist related businesses. Can’t let the homes burn. Tourists don’t come to burned out forests and campgrounds.

    What to do? I don’t know…

    • Benett Kessler August 11, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

      Why would anyone let any home burn??!! BK

      • Desert Tortoise August 12, 2014 at 11:21 am #

        I think you missed the point Ms. Kessler. People should not build homes in areas prone to wild fires, but state and local government does nothing whatsoever to deter such building. In that respect we very much have painted ourselves into a corner. If building in fire prone areas was strictly prohibited, we would not have to fund the hideously expensive and often dangerous fire fighting efforts we now fund. Fire is a natural part of the ecosystem, they should be allowed to burn unimpeded. That is what the forest needs to be healthy. Because we foolishly choose to buid in the path of fires we fight those fires to protect what we build, at great cost both in dollar terms and the deleterious effects on the ecology of our wild lands.

        • Benett Kessler August 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

          The community of Mammoth Lakes exists with many homes and structures that also support Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and Bike Park. Your theory has come decades too late. BK

          • Ken Warner August 12, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

            It’s not a theory. It’s a working principle. Had all those condos and expensive homes been built just a mile or two East and North, we would not only have a wonderful playground of lush meadows and old growth forests that everybody could enjoy.

            But no, if it’s a nice place for everybody then build a home or condo complex right in the middle of it and make it exclusive for the property owners. Then the property owners expect everyone who is now excluded to take care of their property when it is threatened.

            It’s not right and we all ar paying the price one way or another.

        • Mark August 12, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

          I agree Desert Tortoise with the exception of I do not agree with allowing government to deter building in fire prone areas. I think it should be done at the owners risk. The fact is most homes that burn do not have the necessary brush clearance to with stand wild fire even with a fire engine sitting in the driveway. It would be better if fire fighters spent their efforts on saving the homes that can be saved.

          I am completely against the current fire policy of putting out fires only to come back and have the taxpayers pay for controlled burns. It’s a losing venture for taxpayers and real job security for fire fighters.

          Mammoth would burn to the ground without the so called hero’s their to save the city. Fire fighters are called hero’s only by those that rely on them to save their arse. These very people should move back to the city where they belong.

    • Trouble August 11, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

      In Bishop, Big Pine, Indy and Lone Pine, DWP ought to clear there land more often. They own almost all of the surrounding land. Hell, their half the reason our back yards are pumped dry! The Big Pine fire never would have happen if they would have cleared some of their land.

  3. Jay Wheaton August 11, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    We already have a program in California for wildland fuel reduction, Calfire has a program we pay $150 per home per year why don’t use that money which is intended for that purpose?

    • haha August 11, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

      Very good question. It’s almost like this fee is useless and illegal.

  4. Ken Warner August 12, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    Congress is heading home for summer vacation, failing to act on emergency funding to combat the wildfires that are raging in the West.

    President Obama had requested $615 million in emergency funding to help the U.S. Forest Service and Interior Department pay for firefighting efforts, and the Democratic-controlled Senate proposed a $2.7 billion spending bill to deal with both the wildfires and the influx of unaccompanied minors along the Southwest border. But Senate Republicans used a procedural objection to block its consideration.The House did not introduce a bill to combat wildfires.


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