According to Cal Fire there are nearly 15,000 firefighters battling 14 major wildfires, as well as a few smaller fires, across the state.
This is unconscionable, and the causations and lack of resources that produced such an environment can be laid squarely at the feet of Governor Gavin Newsom.
NBC Los Angeles reported on the progress of the Caldor Fire, which resulted in mandatory evacuations in South Lake Tahoe.
The lake is no longer crystal clear and most of the businesses remain closed, but South Lake Tahoe is slowly, if cautiously, coming back to life in the shadow of the devastating Caldor Fire that has already claimed 800 homes.
Fire officials remained on high alert this week as thunderstorms swept through the region this week, threatening to stymie containment efforts and slow down repopulation plans.
Since it erupted Aug. 14, the wildfire has devoured more than 218,000 acres and destroyed a total of 1,000 structures in the Sierra Nevada. It was 65 percent as of Saturday, and some 10,000 people are still not able to return home.
Ten thousand people evacuated. Think any of those people are thinking about voting in a recall? Doubtful.
In one of the recall Facebook groups, a poster sent this sad response:
“An entire community near me has just burnt to the ground. Newsom has failed this state and its residents. There are people who say the “recall is a waste of money.” Try telling that to someone who just lost their home due to his mismanagement.”
Mismanagement is much too weak a word. Deliberate sabotage is more apt. As I have reported on multiple occasions here, here, and as our Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar outlined here, Governor Hair Gel delights in blaming the rampant wildfires Californians have had to battle over the three years of his administration on climate change.
On Gavin Newsom’s first full day in office, Jan. 8, 2019, the newly elected governor stood before the cameras, clad in jeans and sneakers and surrounded by emergency responders, and declared war on wildfires.
“Everybody has had enough,” the governor said, announcing he’d signed a sweeping executive order overhauling the state’s approach to wildfire prevention. Climate change was sparking fires more frequent, ferocious, and far-reaching than ever before, Newsom said, and confronting them would have to become a year-round effort.
The state’s response, Newsom added, “fundamentally has to change.”
Newsom is committed to being proven right, even if it means ignoring measures set in place by his predecessor, and refusing to discuss his complicity in why the severity and amount of wildfires have increased each year he has been in office.
A columnist for the Enterprise-Record is none to pleased with this:
It’s beyond sad how the self-proclaimed “most advanced state in the nation” cannot get a grip on this. It has spun completely out of control and, as we noted in our “What’s left to burn?” story a few days back, we are a long, long way from being out of this sick series of horror shows — most of which continue to star the same bad actors.
Camp Fire? Whoops, PG&E equipment started it. The Dixie Fire, which started very close to the same spot as the Camp Fire, almost three years later, despite repeated assurances of safety improvements? “Uh, yeah, whoops, we might have started that one too.” And then the Fly Fire, which ended up merging with the Dixie Fire? “Yep. Sorry. That might be our bad too. Clumsy me!”
And if you think the point of this column is to lay all of the blame on PG&E, you’re wrong. They barely qualify as a co-star in this inept lineup of overpaid charlatans.
For example, we’ve got a state led by a guy apparently more concerned with sagging poll numbers and a mounting recall election than anything having to do with fire protection, an effort he admitted he “accidentally” overstated by almost 700 percent recently. And hey, how about that decision to close the prison in Susanville earlier this year, which (pending a judge’s restraining order last week) killed off the inmate firefighting program? Think those well-trained and experienced men might be a valuable resource for our overwhelmed fire crews in helping to battle these infernos in the future?
Did I say, “sabotage”? I’m not the only one seeing this scenario.
It doesn’t help that Newsom inserted himself into the PG&E bankruptcy settlement to benefit his friend and fixer Jason Kinney. Because of a law he signed, the 70,000 victims from the 2018 Camp Fire have still not received their settlement money, and some may not even receive the amounts promised.
Asked what plan he has to fix the $2.5 billion shortfall to PG&E fire victims, Newsom walked off.
— Brandon Rittiman (@BrandonRittiman) September 11, 2021
When confronted by KXTV about this last Friday, His Hairfulness simply walked away.
Gov. Gavin Newsom kept walking Friday when asked whether he has anything to say to the 70,000 victims of PG&E wildfires who face a $2.5 billion shortfall in a settlement which the governor helped to broker.
The shortfall exists because a law created by the governor’s office and signed by Newsom “left out” the victims’ ability to recover full damages, according to the retired judge serving as the victims’ trustee.
“It seems unfair that some victims of PG&E-caused fires will be fully compensated while others will not,” retired judge John Trotter wrote in a Sept. 1 letter to PG&E’s nearly 70,000 victims. “They left out those already harmed.”
Now, a new wildfire, the Route Fire, erupted over an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County today, and has already charred over 450 acres.
A wildfire that erupted Saturday and shut down a stretch of Interstate 5 in Los Angeles County continued to burn, with some lanes of the freeway remaining closed. https://t.co/fhnfDCJz7s
— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) September 12, 2021
More people displaced, fewer people who can vote him out of office. As former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” This corrupt governor will allow the state to burn down in order to prove his ideological bent and save his own hide.
In TWO MORE DAYS, we can right the tide for ourselves, and the families who have lost everything and been victimized.