How Obama Bureaucrats Fueled Western Wildfires

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After months of dire red flags from a diverse group of politicians ranging from Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry and Arizona GOP Sen. Jon Kyl to Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden and New Mexico Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman, President Obama finally signed emergency legislation last week to expedite the contracting process. Obama will borrow planes from Canada and provide $24 million for new aerial tanker contracts.

But the money won’t come until next year, and the dog-and-pony rescue moves will not result in any immediate relief. “It’s nice, but this problem isn’t fixed with a stroke of the pen,” former Forest Service official and bomber pilot Tony Kern told the Denver Post this week. “You need to have the airplanes available now.” Veteran wildland firefighter and blogger Bill Gabbert of adds: “The USFS should have awarded contracts for at least 20 additional air tankers, not 7.”

Imagine if Obama’s Forest Service had been a private company. White House eco-radicals would be rushing to place their “boots on the necks” of the bureaucrats who made the fateful decision to put an experienced aerial tanker firm out of business as wildfires raged and the available rescue fleet shrunk.

“The Obama administration is scrambling now to help ensure the Forest Service has the air assets it needs to fight the ongoing inferno,” Colorado free-market environmental watchdog Sean Paige reported at last week. “But the crisis is bound to raise questions not just about whether the cancelled contract created additional weaknesses and vulnerabilities, but about what the administration has been doing over the past three summers to shore-up the service’s air fleet.”

Where there’s smoke swirling over Team Obama there are usually flames of incompetence, cronyism and ideological zealotry at the source. The ultimate rescue mission? Evacuating Obama’s wrecking crew from the White House permanently. November can’t come soon enough.

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  • Rifleman

    The left must destroy the forests to save them. To them, burned forests are forests that will never be exploited by evil humans, and hundreds of intruding and offending homes or businesses burned to the ground is a bonus.

    This is basically the clinton administration's policy, chucking sound forestry for modern fads, like they did with education. They run the competent out, and replace them with the ideologically reliable. Then we have evidence of endangered species being planted by the surveyors themselves to stop development, not to mention unreliable data. They turn forests into tinderboxes while crippling the ability to fight the resulting fires and then let firefighters burn before they'll pull water from a protected creek to save them.

  • StephenD

    I can almost hear him playing his fiddle in the Oval Office.

    • mlcblog

      Excellent, Stephen D.

  • Sage on the Stage

    Ken Salazar deserves to be prosecuted and jailed, not least for his allowing Pennsylvania's monument to Flight 93 to be designed as a mosque, where visitors face Mecca, with a ring of red trees in their front. However, the plight of the American west doesn't surprise me; and it will likely continue to burn. The National Park Service is a law unto itself, made worse by the socialist traitor in the White House.

  • Cand.Jur.

    Why don't the states established their own firefighting capability? Why don't the western states pool their resources to acquire the necessary fleet of airplanes? When will they learn not to rely on the federal government for anything?

    • intrcptr2

      Probably because the forests are Federal forests, and it is the responsibility of Washington. And anyway, the Federal government has been fighting the fires forever. If that has changed, then it is also up to the White House to inform the states that they are on their own.

      Or had you not noticed how Obama reacts when anyone tries doing his job, even when he isn't?

  • Sage on the Stage

    Ken Salazar should be prosecuted; for allowing Pennsylvania's Flight 93 Memorial to be designed as a mosque, with visitors facing Mecca as they enter the park, in the center of a ring of red trees. So this latest National Park Service abdication of responsibility is no surprise; and the American west will likely burn for some time to come.

  • mrbean

    All the folks in the big cities are stocking up on guns and ammo in the last year of the election. Recent sales of semiautomatic assault rifles have been especially strong because people apparently fear if Obama is not reelected that the blacks will riot in the streets. Not a stretch at all!

  • Realist

    All of you people give me a break!! You want government spending cut (which it was for USFS) and now you complain about lack of aircraft. Maybe you should start blame locally and go up the ladder!!! P.S. I believe the Penn memorial was designed during the previous administration.

  • tagalog

    There is something in me that leaps up for a moment when I read about some interest group putting its "boots on the necks" of federal bureaucrats. Oh, that there actually were people prepared to do that…

  • Amused

    Thought you folks were against " Big Govmint " ?