Trump Derangement Syndrome: a disease that medical experts claim is associated with paranoia, acute hysteria, and the inability to tolerate policy differences. I wonder if Obamacare will pay for it? Apparently, Governor Jerry Brown has jumped on the bandwagon claiming that his non-action in preventing California wildfires is really all Trump’s fault because Trump changed the climate.
In 2017, over 9,000 fires burned 2.1 million acres, 43 people were killed, the cost was $13 billion, and 11,000 homes were destroyed. So what did Governor Brown Do?
If Governor Brown was truly of the mind that climate change is causing extensive fires in California, knowing that California experiences thousands of fires each and every year, what exactly has he done to mitigate those occurrences? Because it would seem that his methodology is to: a. blame Trump, and b. ask for money.
“Forest thinning and prescribed burns — both of which aim to eliminate fire fuel before the fire occurs” are the best method for prevention according to Mark Cochrane, a senior scientist at the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence at South Dakota State University.
Colorado and Oregon both have in place very specific and comprehensive strategies for mitigating against fires occurring as well as response efforts. The vast majority of fires are ‘human caused’, either accidentally or arson. Rapid response in these instances is essential. That requires boots on the ground. California has 885 fire stations. Only 25% of California firefighters are ‘career’, nearly 60% are volunteer or mostly volunteer. Despite the rabid extent of fires in California each year, they rely predominantly on volunteers and out of state assistance! When all is said and done, the cost is not picked up by the state, but by Federal taxpayers.
Droughts in California have occurred throughout history, they are a continuum that dates back centuries, and despite a doubling of population since 1979, not one new large-scale water project has been built! Hollywood? Where is you outrage? Where are your concerts to raise money? Where are your donations?
“Because much of California’s water network relies on a system of pumps to move water from north to south, large volumes of water are often lost to the Pacific Ocean during winter storms when river flow exceeds the capacity of the pumps. This is further complicated by environmental rules which restrict pumping during certain months of the year, to protect migrating fish. In water year 2015, 9,400,000 acre feet (11.6 km3) of water flowed through the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, but only 1,900,000 acre feet (2.3 km3) were recovered into water distribution systems.
The state’s reservoirs have insufficient capacity to balance the water supply between wet and dry years.”
It would appear that neither Governor Brown or the states spokesperson for Fire Protection are aware of the above facts which is rather frightening given they are in charge of mitigation as a result of fires.
The latest spat between Brown and Trump was over the available water to fight the fires. Oddly, despite California’s ongoing battle with droughts, water rationing, and lacking capacity reservoirs, both Governor Brown and Briana Sacks, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, claim there is ‘plenty of water’ citing Clear Lake.
Clear Lake rights are owned by Yolo County and are used for agriculture, local water companies and recreational use. In 2014, it recorded one of its lowest levels of water after severe droughts at -.31 Ramsey. It is heavily contaminated with high levels of Mercury and thus warnings are issued with respect to eating some of the fish.
But water rights have become the core issue for multiple lawsuits as the state of California began to declare a sort of eminent domain over county rights in 2015. The state was attempting to curtail rights that had been on the books for a hundred years due to mounting drought problems so as to divert for state purposes rather than county or agriculture purposes. Odd that Brown and Briana were not aware of this…
Therefore, when Brown and Briana Sacks cited Clear Lake as proof positive that California has plenty of water, their lack of knowledge was rather astounding. The last drought period in California lasted from 2012 through 2017.
The ultimate point that both Brown and Briana seem to be missing is the fact that California wildfires are NOT mitigated, nothing has been done to prevent them, and nothing has been done to ramp up fighting the fires before they get out of control. Nothing has been done to secure more career firefighters. Nothing. By continuing to do nothing, California will continue to burn. By not providing adequate reservoirs for the population and it’s needs, California will continue to be plagued by substantial periods of severe drought resulting in depleted water sources to extinguish fires. Pretending that the entire problem is Trump – is truly a deranged mentality. Ultimately it shows gross negligence and mismanagement… on the part of Governor Brown and his Departments.
The current Mendocino fire is the largest in history approaching 300,000 acres and just 30% contained.