California Mutual Assistance Program

In years past California Mutual Assistance Program and emergency response for fighting fires learned a valuable lesson. They learned that fires get big quick and it is important to use all available resources to prevent the wide spread damage that can occur. In the early 90’s the Santa Monica Mountains were ablaze but the C-130s at Channel Islands Air National Guard Base stood ready and loaded waiting for a call to go fight the blaze. They waited 36 hours before they go the call, by that time the fire had ravaged the landscape. They learned a valuable lesson and many people unnecessarily lost their homes. The scorched hillsides looked like a living hell after it burned out.

In 2003 it happened again in CA, only this time a different set of hills. Again a similar scenario and wait to call in the big guns to help fight the fire it luckily did not take long for the Governor Davis to make the call this time. However we saw this did not fully work like it was suppose to. You would think with the prior lesson they would have been called right away, as it should even with all the mistakes of the prior decade and new protocols during the most recent firestorm surrounding Los Angeles and Southern California. Still the expensive to operate but extremely effective military aircraft had not been deployed during the Santa Ana Wind induced and accelerated arson set fires, until they had grown out of control.

With the drought situation getting tougher in the South West; AZ, NM, NV and North Midwestern states of ID, MT, UT, WY, CO we will have a problematic dry summer year which helps fires move quickly and therefore we will have to move quickly too. It could be a big fire season for California this year as they got lots of needed rain which helped the sage brush grow and the desert bloom, but as summer heats up these taller than normal bushes are just more fuel for the fires. It will be imperative this year for all hands to be ready to fight if a big fire comes along, it will take all we got to get it out quickly, especially if it is in the Santa Ana wind season. Will we finally learn from our mistakes? We shall see. Think about it, think about team work!

“Lance Winslow” – If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs

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