July 02, 2019 02:23PM
There is much that we don't know about this fire. There are some things we do and there are some things we THINK we do.

But I know this: This is the US Forest Service covering their ass. They have mismanaged the national forests for over 100 years and this forest in particular.

I also know this: That forest was long overdue for a burn. When you look at Missionary Ridge, around Cortez, towards Silverton, and a dozen other areas no where near the D&S, they have all burned in the last decade. Lightning, careless campers, hikers and smokers, autos, the ignition source varies, but they burned. The fact that Wolf Creek hasn't burned to the ground in the last 3 years stuns me, but that will happen just as soon as it gets dry again.

But here, the USFS can blame someone else for their failures, and they did. If anyone is surprised by this, ya ain't been paying attention.

Harper is in a tough spot. He has made public statements about taking responsibility and if he fights it, he risks losing support among some of the townspeople.

If it were me, I'd want to take a meeting with the Feds and see if it could be settled for a reasonable amount, quickly and quietly. If the Feds want to play hardball, then I'd release the attack lawyers and promise to subpoena all the records of the USFS and their management and start with why their employees prevented the D&S employees on scene from fighting the fire when it was small and containable.

I strongly suspect those records would show that not only did they know it was going to burn, but they WANTED it to. It was going to happen, it was overdue, but both the residents and the tree crowd have prevented them from doing any real fire mitigation, (even if they had really wanted to), and you had the railroad nearby to both blame it on and foot some of the bill.

This is my view having dealt with these folks (Feds) here and in Montana on these issues.

BTW, to any forest rangers on the list, love the work you do, but your bosses just ain't getting it.

Chris Lane
Subject Author Posted

US Goverment Sues D&SNG

WilliamDiehl July 02, 2019 12:35PM

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Tomstp July 03, 2019 08:16AM

"Instructions"

RichB July 03, 2019 02:41PM

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RDannemann July 04, 2019 07:19AM

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