May 28, 2022

"Two blazes that grew into New Mexico's largest ever wildfire were both started by the U.S. Forest Service..."

"... the agency said on Friday.... Forest Service investigators determined the Calf Canyon Fire was caused by a 'burn pile' of branches that the agency thought was out but reignited.... That blaze on April 22 merged with the Hermits Peak Fire, which the USFS started with a controlled burn that went out of control on April 6, the agency previously reported.... Blazing a more than 40-mile-long... path up the Sangre de Cristo mountains, the fire has destroyed watersheds and forests used for centuries by Indo-Hispano farming villages and Native American communities."

Reuters reports. 

A disaster and a metaphor. What is presented by the government as "controlled" goes wildly out of control.

48 comments:

ga6 said...

Well they did so well at crime control and inflation control why not allow civil service hacks and environmental studies majors wander around and set fires. What could go wrong? sarc/

Michael K said...

We are governed by the "very best people." The Uvalde police department for example.

gilbar said...

So, not to sound like a conspiracy theorist; But to Explicitly BE a conspiracist

The MAJOR forest fires today, were started By the Federal Government?
The plots against our state governors were started By the Federal Government?
The Jan 6th protesters were let into the Capitol By the Federal Government?
The former Government of the Ukraine overthrown By the Federal Government?
The ending of Oil production in the USA was done By the Federal Government?
The Hilary! Clinton election campaign tricks were performed By the Federal Government?
The Massive rearmament of the Mexican Mafia was done By the Federal Government?
"People" like Mutaman and Igna are paid servants of the Federal Government?

Just seeing if i got it straight?

rhhardin said...

It would burn anyway, government or not.

Tomcc said...

I'm thinking that they'll argue that they had sufficient resources to start the fires, but not to put them out. More funding, please.
Also, why the line: "...forests used for centuries by Indo-Hispano farming villages and Native American communities."? The loss is catastrophic, irrespective of how it's been used. Does it serve as a reminder of white supremacy or cultural racism?

JG said...

I am from California, born in late 50s, and grew up in 60s with Reagan as Governor. When Reagan was Gov there was logging companies in the Forests of California. The logging companies removed downed trees, bad areas, and kept the Forests clear while providing people jobs, lumber, and the state taxes. There were less Forest Fires and when there were they were smaller.

Once Jerry Brown became Governor and the Sierra Club/Environmentalists got a foot hold into the state and logging stopped to "help" the environment and wildlife. Soon Forest Fires became much larger and more often. The affect on the environment and wildlife was worse, but this was never reported by media, academia, or government.

Mary Beth said...

a 'burn pile' of branches that the agency thought was out but reignited

It sounds like they are accepting blame, but really, by assigning the blame to "the agency", they are actually protecting the ones who were careless. Is anyone going to be held accountable, or just the taxpayers?

What made them "think" it was out? What did they do to check?

Temujin said...

Imagine our shock.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Let them control all our medical programs. And schools.

Howard said...

The Forest Circus and their Federali cousins is famous for out of control mega firestorm complexes.

realestateacct said...

At last a legitimate argument against allowing the government to clear brush to prevent fires. They are too incompetent to do it.

Quaestor said...

Think of it as the Interior Department's Afghanistan withdrawal.

Lem said...

I remember reading that the forests fires in California we caused in part because they don't do "controlled burning". Maybe California is aware of their incomprehensible incompetence; that they could, unintentionally, set the state ablaze.

#ImJustSayng

minnesota farm guy said...

"We're from the government we are here to help!"

Creola Soul said...

As Mama Gump said “Stupid is as stupid does.”

JAORE said...

"a 'burn pile' of branches that the agency thought was out but reignited.... "

Someone has NOT been listening to Smokey Bear.

Owen said...

Is this where we get to discuss “sovereign immunity”?

Earnest Prole said...

In the Bay Area in 2021, fires that had been put out the previous summer were rekindled by strong winds in the middle of January.

Gahrie said...

I remember reading that the forests fires in California we caused in part because they don't do "controlled burning".

The state is forced to do "controlled burns" because they stopped allowing naturally occurring fires to burn.

MadTownGuy said...

Blame shifted to CAGW in 3, 2, 1...

n.n said...

A case of Her Choice vs her Choice, abortion vs elective abortion.

gspencer said...

"both started by the government"

But, but government can do no wrong.

Rabel said...

This little faux pas is easily overshadowed by the fact that the Forest Service made history last year when President Biden appointed the first African American Chief in its historic history.

You people need to get your priorities in order.

cassandra lite said...

Several years ago I flew in a helicopter over a large portion of the Eastern Sierra's conifer forest, directly above the demarcation line between USFS lands and privately held lands owned by Sierra Pacific Industries.

On one side was beautifully maintained forest, with trees properly spaced so that (a) the spotted owl could feast on what was running below; (b) the tops of the trees weren't touching, preventing crowning fires that burn hotter, longer, and more destructively; and (c) the health of the forest would be ensured for generations to come.

On the other side were dying, beetle-diseased poor excuses for conifer trees whose crowns were touching and blocking out light below.

Guess which was which.

NMObjectivist said...

Blogger rhhardin said...
“It would burn anyway, government or not."

The Forest service began this NM controlled burn in spite of a high winds forecast. Wind is the chief risk factor in fires. They did the same thing 20 years ago and many houses in Los Alamos, NM were destroyed.

It wasn’t just the controlled burn – it was a carelessly administered controlled burn.

Andrew said...

Did God decide to make every single government entity in this country lose their credibility at the same time?

Josephbleau said...

It was probably for the best to let it burn, that’s how nature recycles itself.

Sebastian said...

"What is presented by the government as "controlled" goes wildly out of control."

Except it doesn't just "go" wildly out of control: government made it happen.

In the real world, heads would roll. Who will pay a price for this negligence? I mean, personal damages and jail time?

Broader question: do any bureaucrats in the FDA or the NIH or the Forest Service or the Fed ever pay a price? If not, how can they be held accountable?

AZ Bob said...

"Someone has NOT been listening to Smokey Bear."

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

"We are from the governmetn and we are here to help."


Yeah - great.

narciso said...

the firemen of fahrenheit 451

RonF said...

This also affected Philmont Scout Reservation, the B.S.A.’s largest High Adventure Base, which has seen multiple fires recently that were started outside its boundaries. In a normal year it sees over 50,000 Scouts from all over the world trekking through, but not when people set the woods on fire.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

we lost 1000 homes in Boulder, Superior and Louisville because the initial fire response was hugely lacking.

Narr said...

Mistakes were made.

A small controlled fire the size of a large uncontrolled fire?

One of the great things about the incompetence of our leaders and experts is the deadpan delivery they have perfected when reporting their failures.

THAT'S clowning.

vermonter said...

Quaestor said...
Think of it as the Interior Department's Afghanistan withdrawal.

The Forest Service is part of the Agriculture Department.

Mason G said...

"Broader question: do any bureaucrats in the FDA or the NIH or the Forest Service or the Fed ever pay a price?"

To be fair, if they had a bigger budget, things like this would never happen. /s

Old and slow said...

I think it would be fair to say that this was not actually a CONTROLLED burn.

Michael said...



a 'burn pile' of branches that the agency thought was out but reignited


Ummmmm...dousing a fire is Forest Service 101. That's a pretty big fock-up

Douglas2 said...

RonF: These two fires haven't affected Philmont Scout-Ranch except in that the Philmont VFD crews are fighting them and the fire crew "spike camp" set up at the Philmont Training Center with local volunteers manning the kitchen.

The April "Cooks Peak" fire did affect Philmont and come onto Philmont land, burning one backcountry cabin at what would be a staffed camp (but one that wasn't planned to be used this summer.)

I've been following this on Philmont's website, and the following communication I found interesting and heartening:

"Cooks Peak Fire Update: April 28th, 2022, 12:00 PM MDT
. . .
Since the 2018 Ute Park Fire, the ranch ramped up efforts to mitigate the impact of wildfires. Over 175,000 hours have been spent in fuel reduction work. Incident command personnel reported to Philmont management yesterday how surprised and impressed they were with the quality of work that was completed on the shaded fuel break. This reconfirms the validity of our work. Thank you to all the staff and volunteers that have contributed and thank you to those who have donated "

typingtalker said...

More on controlled burns ...

A controlled or prescribed burn, also known as hazard reduction burning, backfire, swailing, or a burn-off, is a fire set intentionally for purposes of forest management, farming, prairie restoration or greenhouse gas abatement. A controlled burn may also refer to the intentional burning of slash and fuels through burn piles. Fire is a natural part of both forest and grassland ecology and controlled fire can be a tool for foresters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controlled_burn

Jose_K said...

In the 60's there were no fires for 10 years. Sequoias number were reduced were while pines prospered. The former is fire resistant while the later burn easily. Fire is part of the cycle of life. Controlled fires began.
In 2008 or 09, in California, the biggest ever known fire was a controlled fire that went wild

JAORE said...

The raging wild fire identified as a controlled burn.

steveaz said...

Great job, Forest Service and the USDA!

Now eat crow for the Arizona's 2011 Chiricahua Fire (aka the Horseshoe 2 Fire) and the Schulz Pass/ Timberline Fire above Flagstaff.

We know you set those too - both sites were known to be overgrown but your burn efforts had been stymied by public comments, so you burned 'em anyway, and then blamed them on 'illegals' and 'homeless people.'

The Horseshoe fire alone was a $60M boon to the fire-industry, the USDA's radicals got their 200 yr. burn, and the prevalence of migrants in Arizona's border areas provided the deniability.

This how the Obama/Biden Federales roll.

OregonJon said...

A a tragically preventable fire, but as is said, "good enough for government work." What will be learned? For a clue, read this: https://coloradosun.com/2020/08/05/gold-king-mine-spill-five-years-later/

Nobody of Consequence said...

It is time for each state to take all the so-called stolen federal lands back. Over and over and over federal management(mis) has destroyed thousands of acres and millions of dollars of property. IMO every federal worker is a federal worker because they are incompetent and couldn't get a job in the real world. Federal jobs are welfare on steroids.

Freder Frederson said...

It is time for each state to take all the so-called stolen federal lands back.

Who, exactly, were these "so-called stolen federal lands" stolen from? Certainly not the states. There is absolutely no evidence that the states would be better at managing land than the federal government.

Ken Mitchell said...

"Controlled burns" never are.

donald said...

“Who, exactly, were these "so-called stolen federal lands" stolen from? Certainly not the states. There is absolutely no evidence that the states would be better at managing land than the federal government”.

Actually yeah. As a really funny and insightful guy used to say, “teh stupid, it burns”.