Monday, June 26, 2017

Forest Fires For Profit

Fire season is upon us. So are the sizeable armies of Forest Service rangers looking to get rich off the taxpayers by charging us for overtime, extra hazard pay, per diem, etc, etc.

Then there are the contractors who often charge over $1,000 per machine per day in standby time, and even more should a bulldozer or water truck actually be used in fighting fires.

A well written article from 1995 by the Los Angeles Times states: 
"90% of forest fires are arson for profit". Many are intentionally set by forest rangers themselves, or would-be contractors looking to make a quick buck supplying fire camps with food, fuel, water, heavy machinery. 

We all have several examples of the Forest Service not fighting fires when they should. And then asking the taxpayers for billions of dollars every year in addition to the money wasted in previous years to NOT properly put out fires, or mitigate the fires altogether with proactive prescribed burns, thinning, etc.

Then there's the issues of destroying roads, intentionally burning down cabins on both private land and public land. Which brings me to another interesting point: 

Even when Forest Service rangers intentionally set fires which destroy homes (Hayman Fire, The Dog Head Fire, Cerro Grande Fire(418 homes destroyed), just to name a few).... no restitution is ever paid by any federal agency to families who have lost everything. 

However, when private citizens, whether by accident, or an intentional act in efforts to protect their property, in the case of the Hammond family: often go to prison and face paying multimillion dollar fines for burning scrub brush or noxious weeds. 

Thomas Jefferson said "tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government, but illegal for the citizens". 

In summary: if you accidentally start a fire on private land that spreads to public land, you will most likely go to prison. But if the Forest Service, BLM or other federal agency starts a fire on federal lands, that spreads to private land: they will still send you a bill(taxes) for putting out the fire on public land. And you won't get a single dime in restitution for your home being burned to the ground by incompetent or criminal forest rangers. 

Scott Amos 

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