Thursday, September 03, 2009

LA Burning

"This is a story of glazed-eyed government incompetence"--big, big, big, big, BIG surprise. It's a story of unintended bad consequences that occur with competing special interest groups. I can hardly wait to see what kinds of unintended consequence disasters we will have when government gets their hands on control over the health care of 300 million people.

This is from an AP story out of Los Angeles.

Federal authorities failed to follow through on plans earlier this year to burn away highly flammable brush in a forest on the edge of Los Angeles to avoid the very kind of wildfire now raging there... Months before the huge blaze erupted, the U.S. Forest Service obtained permits to burn away the undergrowth and brush on more than 1,700 acres of the Angeles National Forest. But just 193 acres had been cleared by the time the fire broke out, Forest Service resource officer Steve Bear said.

The agency defended its efforts, saying weather, wind and environmental rules tightly limit how often these "prescribed burns" can be conducted... Some critics suggested that protests from environmentalists over prescribed burns contributed to the disaster, which came after the brush was allowed to build up for as much as 40 years. "This brush was ready to explode," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich... "The environmentalists have gone to the extreme to prevent controlled burns, and as a result we have this catastrophe today."...

The blaze has destroyed more than five dozen homes, killed two firefighters and forced thousands of people to flee... Biologist Ileene Anderson with the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental organization, said burn permits should be difficult to get because of the potential damage to air quality. Clearing chaparral by hand or machine must be closely scrutinized because it can hurt native species.

"Potential damage to air quality?" Are these people just freakin' nuts, or what? And evidently concern over "hurting native species" is much, much more important than people's lives. They don't call it La-La Land for nothin'. Hey, Biologist Ileeeene Anderson: How's your air quality this week? People like that should be made accountable for their stupidity.

Acres that were to be cleared: 1,748.
Acres actually cleared: 193.
Acres burned (so far, and experts say it may burn for another "two weeks"): 105,000 acres of underbrush, scrub oak, and mature trees.

**Thursday update: 150,000 acres burned and "38%" contained--however the heck they figure that out. Annother spokesman said that if this is a marathon, then "today we are at mile six." Those numbers don't match up. Either somebody can't do math or they don't know the number of miles in a marathon.

1 comment:

Labwriter said...

Update: About 150,000 acres burned as of Thursday. They're saying "38%" contained. How do they figure that one out, exactly?