House panel approves extra wildfire money

Michael Hagen mhagen at olympus.net
Sat Jul 13 12:01:27 EST 2002


In article <6dafee1b.0207112002.7af9632d at posting.google.com>, 
dwheeler at ipns.com says...
> lhfotoware at hotmail.com (Larry Harrell) wrote in message news:<7a90c754.0207111502.29c94f44 at posting.google.com>...
> > July 11, 2002  The Arizona Republic
> > 
> > Forest Service freezes funds 
> > 
> > Costly fires mean delays for other work 
> > 
> > By Judd Slivka, The Arizona Republic
> > 
> > Blaming the most severe fire season in decades, the U.S. Forest
> > Service is freezing all spending not directly related to fighting
> > wildland fires or to day-to-day operations, according to a memo
> > received Wednesday by Arizona officials.
> > 
> > That means campgrounds that need work won't see repairs, Forest
> > Service employee travel is halted, and pending contracts will be
> > delayed until at least Oct. 1, when the agency receives its next round
> > of funding from Congress.
> > 
> > "If there's an environmental-impact study going on, you stop work on
> > it," said Alice Forbes, Forest Service director of operations at the
> > National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho. "The bottom line is
> > that any kind of contract that hasn't been made official yet, we're
> > not entering into it for a while. This is going to have a major impact
> > all across the agency. And it's all because fire season started . . .
> > early."
> > 
> > The Forest Service originally had budgeted $321 million of its $4
> > billion annual budget to fight fires this year. But costly blazes
> > throughout the West over the past three months - the "Rodeo-Chediski"
> > fire in east-central Arizona cost more than $43 million to fight -
> > have raised the bar. At the end of June, the agency forecast that fire
> > suppression for the year would cost $966 million, or nearly 25 percent
> > of its annual budget.
> > 
> > Comment: Will the USFS use me and my GS-7 ( $30,000 per year, if I
> > worked all year long, which I don't ) wage in fire camps to pass out
> > radios or issue equipment or will they use GS-11 ($40,000 to $60,000
> > per year) folks, like usual? Fire camp jobs are cherished and hoarded
> > by the local bigwigs as ways to make big overtime bucks from the
> > fires. With budgets being funneled into fire suppression, can the
> > taxpayers afford high-priced Forest Service "executives" to do fire
> > camp jobs that anyone can do?
> > 
> > Also, good thing ALL travel isn't banned.....I'd be walking back from
> > South Dakota, reliving the Lewis and Clark expedition.
> > 
> > Larry,  hoping bigwigs don't see this
> 
> Pointing out that fire expenditures are gravy for the camp fire folk,

An acquaintance is a honcho in CDF - the California fire dept- and goes 
to every fire and disaster you hear of on the news. A consequence is 
that he gets so much vacation time he apprentices as a river rafting 
guide (a freebie) to do something on his mandatory time off. These guys 
put in their years on the gruntline already and are very good at what 
they do now. That's not where money is to be saved.

If you've done fire time you know about the fire square, right?



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