Steve Pearce Goes After Forest Service

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Why didn’t the forest service put water on the Little Bear Fire when it was just a hundred acres?  Now, they say you can see the smoke in Amarillo. That’s a good 300 miles from here.

Earlier on Saturday, The Pink Flamingo mentioned that, according to information I was receiving, Congressman Steve Pearce was not a happy camper.  While I was on the phone with one of my best friends, who has a home that is currently not in the path of the fire, but it the winds shift, she could be in danger, I mentioned problems ahead.

This is where I  would ask that you stop and say a prayer for Josie & Mike (even if he is a Democrat) and all those who have  homes in the path of the fire.

I told Josie I was under the impression that the you know what was going to hit the fan before this thing was over.  It should never have been allowed to grow to the point where it is out of control.  Evidently Steve Pearce thinks the same thing.  (FYI – The Pink Flamingo expects some fireworks along another avenue before this is all over).

When the fire was at 100 acres, and contained, the forest service never bothered putting it out completely.  THAT is why we have a disaster that could approach Ruidoso.  When you realize that they are issuing preliminary warnings to those living in the Upper Canyon, this is NOT good. When you also realize that the city of Ruidoso has NOT been taking out pine trees that are a hazard makes it even worse.  Ruidoso is one of the most endangered communities in the West – because of the blasted pine trees and the stupidity of the city leaders.  The tourists like the pine trees, so they have chosen to leave them – EVEN IF…..!

“…“It was sitting there at 12 acres for several days and we decided not to do anything about it,” Pearce said of the 2004 fire. “Suddenly it blew out. I just came from the other side of the state where we’ve got a 300,000-acre fire more or less going right now. For two days, maybe three, it was sitting there in a very small area. And then it came loose. You yourselves are talking about the explosive nature of the forest – the fuels available. I just know that if you put enough water, 30, 50, 1,000 tankers, somewhere you’re going to get enough penetration. What I have trouble doing is going to explain to a village why decisions were made that if that wind comes up wrong tomorrow, and that anchor point doesn’t hold, you’re looking at a catastrophe that a quarter of an acre doesn’t justify.”…”

The forest service district manager did not think it was a productive line of questioning.

Ruidoso News

Pearce has been very outspoken on his views about the Forest Service and the problems it is causing. Ironically, a week ago, The Pink Flamingo featured the editorial Pearce wrote for The Hill.

The Pink Flamingo’s big complaint is the abject lack of communication in this community.  I’ve lived here for 14 years, hoping it would improve.  It has not.  Last year, information was so shoddy, and help was so limited, my mother is the one who called the sheriff’s department about smoke in the area that became the monster Donaldson Fire. No one was even fighting it – for several days.  Like the Little Bear Fire, it simply exploded one night.  AND – NO ONE KNEW ANYTHING.

I was on the phone with the PIO person from the fire suppression group – and she didn’t even know what was happening – and it was exploding right in front of her. No one in Ruidoso knew what was going on.  My friend, James Wright, in Texas, was talking to a cop friend of his, who had information about the fire.  James called me and told me to get down to my parents’ home – immediately.

No one in this blasted county knew what was going on.

Now – I learn the following:

“….Commissioners also discussed how to begin re-establishing communications, as cellular phones and landlines were unusable in the Ruidoso area, Sedillo said.

Doth said communications were actually “intermittent,” and he was able to obtain a cellular signal on occasion. He also asked who would be assigned as public information officer for the board, and said that someone “should have been assigned” after the Donaldson Complex Fire.

Sedillo responded that there was someone who was to fill that role, but she was not reachable. She volunteered to temporarily fill that role until a permanent county employee could be assigned, as it was “not any good (to have a PIO) unless they can be reached.” Information was scarce, Doth added. “They’ve had one update on the radio stations, and even that was a sketch,” he said.

CodeRed information systems also were down for the county, as the fire had burned the tower on Buck Mountain around midnight on Friday, Commissioner Jackie Powell added….”

I called the local cops today, around noon.  They didn’t know that much.  I finally ended up calling the Ruidoso Chamber.  They were as much in the dark as was I.  No one, save for one radio station, really knew much of anything.

This is inexcusable.

It is also not rocket science, folks.  All it takes is to set up a phone line and an answering machine like they have at a movie theater. Put one in different parts of the county so that it is not long distance.  Then update the blasted machines as needed.

Do people need to die before something reasonable and inexpensive is done here to protect lives, property, and nerves?

P. S.  It would help if local information services could update more than once a day.

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