We charge to alter our cerebration in California, if not the USA, aback it comes to anecdotic our firefighters. Recent wildland fires, beyond our mountains, canyons and High Desert accentuate that the abstraction that we can accept firefighters paid on a year-round base to action blaze is a affluence too anon gone in 21st Aeon America.
The amount of angry blaze has gone through the roof, what with these huge fires angry out of ascendancy from aural account of the atom breeding the fire, engulfing bags of acreage of abounding acreage that are aloof allurement for blaze to absorb them, AND the amazing amount of accomplishment that we pay our firefighters in today’s market.
We accept to accomplish some sane changes to this 20th, if not 19th, aeon way of accomplishing business.
While the amount of our accomplishment for firefighters is never activity to go down, attestant the Cal Firefighters Union petitioning the Legislature for college salaries, we accept to attending to the one breadth area we can do a bigger job at abbreviation the blackmail of fire.
I adduce that we do abroad with firefighter job description aback it comes to all those that are in the apply of Cal Blaze and re-set their job description and titles to be Blaze Blockage personnel. In their new job description will appear the aboriginal albatross to anticipate agrarian fires, those aforementioned fires that they cycle out of their stations to “fight.”
Fire Division in California is about six months of the year. Statewide ecology of above brush/wild/forest fires shows that to be true. That leaves bristles or six months of the year aback these abounding time Blaze Blockage cadre are accessible on the approved assignment agenda to get bottomward and bedraggled in the forest, besom and grasslands of California advancing up with able ammunition and blaze breaks, condonable amplitude (as they like to acquaint us alone acreage owners we charge to create) about communities, application aggregate from D-8 Cats to edger wackers to accomplish it happen.
A re-evaluation could additionally be fabricated of the structural blaze departments operating aural the accompaniment as well. If the base aggregation is not in the business of responding to bloom emergencies (many are axis that over to specialized ambulance crews), again these firefighters could be re-categorized to be Blaze Blockage cadre and their circadian job would be accomplishing blaze blockage in their corresponding communities.
Weed wackers could booty the abode of accepted cutting of the blaze engines amid the exceptional absolute blaze calls. The bounded on-duty blaze blockage squad, if not assuming those condonable amplitude duties, could additionally resume the annual or semi-annual blaze inspections of businesses and accessible buildings. They acclimated to accomplish those tasks but bureaucracies at the canton or burghal “seat” accept taken over those jobs (those cadre could appear aback out into the “field” to anticipate blaze on a circadian basis).
We accept accustomed our blaze departments and agencies, from bounded residential units to the county, the accompaniment and the federal (Forest Service, BLM and alike now the National Monument gang) to become added and added this aristocratic force that rolls out aback a blaze breach out, but again disappears during the about 50 percent of the year or more, aback there are no fires to fight. By the way, aback those present firefighters appearance up and assignment the fires for canicule at a time, they are actuality able-bodied compensated for the added time they absorb on the job.
The abstraction that we could anticipate the multi-million dollar wildland fires, with their added amount to individual’s acreage (homes), by re-constituting our blaze casework and authoritative them into pro-active blaze blockage agencies is an abstraction able-bodied accomplished doing. Aback the account bankrupt afresh that the “Old Cajon Blaze Crew” was activity to be put on a full-time basis, I dug out my addendum afterward the Pilot and Bluecut fires. This is a acceptable aboriginal step, but it has to be activated to anybody who is an agent of Cal Blaze (the aftereffect to the California Division of Forestry, accountant to action wildland fires in California during blaze division but now broadcast into year-round Cal Blaze crews).
The Backwoods Service — Congressman Cook are you listening? — should be re-configured so that their blaze crews become abounding time and they too are appointed as blaze blockage crews, abounding time in the backwoods accomplishing balk management/tree felling, forth with all-encompassing ammunition and blaze breach efforts.
We can’t acquiesce to sit aback and acquiesce our accompaniment bake every blaze season, we charge to get out in advanced and appear up with arresting foliage that will accommodate ammunition and blaze breach to anticipate the aing Pilot or Bluecut Fire.
Tom Pinard is a Wrightwood resident.
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