Noted disaster management expert unimpressed with handling of wildfires

posted at 3:53 pm on October 24, 2007 by Allahpundit

Politico’s headline-writer opts for the easy joke. The big A is above such things.

Michael D. Brown, former chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told WJLA-TV reporter Rebecca Cooper in an exclusive interview Wednesday that the administration has not recognized how much of a “problem” it has with disaster response since so many National Guard troops are in war zones.

He did not directly criticize the White House response to the fires.

“The White House needs to recognize that we are overstretched and that there is a problem,” Brown said in a telephone interview. “They need to increase the size of the regular Army and stop relying so much on the National Guard.”…

Brown’s successor as FEMA chief, R. David Paulison, defended the National Guard’s strength when asked about it Wednesday morning during a series of television interviews from Los Angeles.

“I have not seen an issue with the Guard,” he said on CBS News’ “The Early Show.” “In fact, they’re moving a lot of National Guards in here on the ground.”

Exit question: Can the incarnate symbol of incompetent cronyism, famous for wondering “Can I quit now?” as Katrina was descending on New Orleans, leverage his war criticism into a little left-wing rehabilitation? David Brock, call your office!


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Is it Carter that set the template for failed polticos to keep foaming at the mouth when common decency and any sense of shame would impel them to go away quietly?

bbz123 on October 24, 2007 at 3:57 PM

That’s like Pete Stark calling Dennis Kucinich crazy.

amerpundit on October 24, 2007 at 3:57 PM

No, strike that. That’s not a fair comparison for Paulison.

amerpundit on October 24, 2007 at 3:58 PM

Either the loonies have gotten their claws into him, or he is out for personal revenge.

Either way – completely dismissable.

Next!

Timothy S. Carlson on October 24, 2007 at 3:59 PM

Pot. Kettle. Black. Moron.

Can’t make this stuff up. Incredible.

Hawkins1701 on October 24, 2007 at 4:03 PM

The firefighters, with their truck and aerial tankers can’t fight the fires because of the winds. So, how will the National Guard, with picks and shovels, fight it?

He’s and IDIOT.

Helloyawl on October 24, 2007 at 4:04 PM

Same crapweasel from Katrina. Not relevant to any emergency?

Wade on October 24, 2007 at 4:10 PM

Politico’s headline-writer opts for the easy joke. The big A is above such things.

I read this just as I was preparing to post my own “heckuva job” joke. Now, I feel like Bania from Seinfeld.

It’s gold AP! Gold!

CP on October 24, 2007 at 4:16 PM

“Former” is now synonymous with “loud-mouth, having previously lacked the testicular fortitude to speak his mind, when it counted.”

OhEssYouCowboys on October 24, 2007 at 4:16 PM

It’s gold AP! Gold!

CP on October 24, 2007 at 4:16 PM

I’m waiting for your 8 minute “Ovaltine” routine.

OhEssYouCowboys on October 24, 2007 at 4:18 PM

We should listen to him because AP is right, he is a expert at mishandling emergencies. Who would know better than him?

Wade on October 24, 2007 at 4:22 PM

the clintoons stripped the department of defense down by about 50%. the admirals and generals placed some of the specialized but not expected to be needed a great deal tasks into the national guard and other reserves.

now about 8 months into his presidency george bush is expected to fight a world war with what billary left him.

so now the bunch that chopped the military down is bitching because the military is overseas doing what they are supposed to do and not at home to serve food at emergency chow lines.

the current bunch of state politicians has figured out that if they have people in national guard uniforms standing around they are doing something.

and so they want air national guard people (who normally fly airplanes) helping flood problems etc. etc. etc. because the uniforms show up on tv quite well.

during the second los angeles riot the city people argued with the state folk that they wanted national guard for a day, then they argued about whether they could bring their guns for a day, then they argued about bringing bullets.

the 4th day some bad folk tried a drive by shooting at one of the guard posts. thirty seconds later their car looked like a cheese grater.

the riot was over within the hour.

thats what troops are for.

C

pk on October 24, 2007 at 4:22 PM

I spent many years in the National Guard (Air). The simple fact is that in any given disaster, guard troops are little better than the public at large in dealing with it. Sure, in a flood you have a bunch of men and women who can fill sandbags, but every guard member has an area of expertise, and few (if any of them) are related to fighting wildfires.

This “if our national guard troops weren’t all in Iraq and Afghanistan we’d be fine” crap has got to stop.

flipflop on October 24, 2007 at 4:36 PM

pk on October 24, 2007 at 4:22 PM

I remember when they sent us down from Ft. Ord during the riots. We never made it out of the staging area, but we were stuck with 20 year old riot gear and wooden batons, instead of guns.

I wonder what the reaction would have been if regular army troops hit the streets.

They would send us out to help with fires on occasion, too including one we started with some tracer rounds.

reaganaut on October 24, 2007 at 4:41 PM

The whiny turd is suffering from John Dean Syndrome.

While were on the subject of the National Guard, I wonder which units Boxer, Pelosi and Reid want to come home to mingle with the folks and help with the fires?

The ones who kill women and children in the dead of night, or the ones who tortured prisoners at Abu Guraib?

Can’t have it both ways. Well, yeah, they’re donks.

fogw on October 24, 2007 at 4:41 PM

Any one make the connection of the Dry Run that occurred in Lebanon with the Fires they just had a few months ago. Seems like lessons were learned and applied in Cali.

/Just Saying

InstantNemesis on October 24, 2007 at 4:42 PM

LOL……look…this has been going on since Dana worked cattle hide ship off the SoCal coast. Santa Anas, wind, fire happens. Manzanita can’t reproduce WITHOUT fire. It is the cycle. Now if there was some arson…..well welcome to nutty SoCal.

This is the most contrived, BS, let’s not look at history, story since Dan Blather looked at National Guard pilots.

Limerick on October 24, 2007 at 4:58 PM

And coming up next week, Ted Kennedy to be unimpressed with the enforcement of drunk driving laws.

Hollowpoint on October 24, 2007 at 5:14 PM

Either the loonies have gotten their claws into him, or he is out for personal revenge.

Either way – completely dismissable.

Next!

Timothy S. Carlson on October 24, 2007 at 3:59 PM

What better way to try and gain favor with at least somebody than to become a hero to the left by “speaking truth to power”? It’s just a cheap ploy for attention and credibility by someone who deserves neither.

Hollowpoint on October 24, 2007 at 5:19 PM

I’m curious as to what these people think the National Guard is going to do to a fire.

Blacklake on October 24, 2007 at 6:05 PM

What better way to try and gain favor with at least somebody than to become a hero to the left by “speaking truth to power”? It’s just a cheap ploy for attention and credibility by someone who deserves neither.

Hollowpoint on October 24, 2007 at 5:19 PM

I am so sick of the ‘speaking truth to power’ phrase that if someone ever tries to pull that out in a serious discussion with me, I will flat out deck the SOB.

Timothy S. Carlson on October 24, 2007 at 6:12 PM

I think this is another example of the Death of the Grown-Up, because a mature adult would keep his damn mouth shut considering what an utter failure “Brownie” was when he was the guy in the hot seat. He wasn’t qualified then (Bush’s fault for offering him the job, and his fault for accepting it), and he’s not qualified now. STFU, douchebag.

ReubenJCogburn on October 24, 2007 at 6:34 PM

However, the USFS decimated its contracted airtanker fleet in recent years. There is only a fraction of the airtankers available that there used to be, because the USFS doesnt want them. They tried to get rid of them all, but had to bring back a few under political pressure.

Bush adminstration has been pursueing getting most of the USFS jobs, especially firefighter jobs, turned into contractor jobs. Problem is that experienced firefighters on wildland fires, is not just a job you need warm bodies for, that you can just fill as needed with inexperienced people. Experienced professionals cant just sit around 9 months of the year waiting for fire season.

firepilot on October 24, 2007 at 6:39 PM

Well, well, well. Now we hear from that great expert on disaster management, Michael Brown.

Hey Brownie, do us a big favor – just shut up and go away!!

OBX Pete on October 24, 2007 at 7:12 PM

Mr. Brown is an idiot. We are now at a Preparedness Level 2 with 5 being the highest which would mean that resources would be already stretched too thing to handle any more wildfires. We have plenty of resources to call upon seasonal wildland fire fighters and equipments such as helicopters and tanker planes to handle the fires. What’s more, many of these seasonal fire fighters also work doing prescription burns as well. It’s not like we cannot get them out to these big fires in California.
http://www.nifc.gov/nicc/sitreprt.pdf

General Preparedness Level Descriptions. Five Preparedness Levels are recognized and summarized as follows:

1. Preparedness Level I. Optimum conditions for normal prescribed fire operations. Wildfire activity within the Southwest Area is light, and large fires are of short duration. There is little or no commitment of Southwest Area and/or National resources.

2. Preparedness Level II. Zone and Area resources are adequate to manage all wildfires and prescribed fires. Numerous Class A, B, and C fires are occurring and a potential exists for escapes of larger fires for more than one burning period. Potential exists for frequent mobilization of additional resources from other zones.

3. Preparedness Level III. There is a potential for two or more Zones to experience incidents requiring a major commitment of Area/National resources. High potential exists of fires becoming Class D and larger. Zones may be requesting resource priorities from SWCC.

4. Preparedness Level IV. Class D and larger fires are common and have the potential to exhaust Southwest Area and National resources. Competition exists for Area/ National resources.

5. Preparedness Level V. Several zones are experiencing major fires, and National resources are exhausted. Military resources have been committed within the Southwest Area.

http://gacc.nifc.gov/swcc/predictive/intelligence/situation/preparedness/swa-pl.html

During wildfire seasons out in the west when Preparedness Level gets to a “5″ for more than a few weeks or so then that’s when the military gets called for help like during the 2000 wildfire season. National Guards are not needed to fight wildfires.

Kokonut on October 24, 2007 at 7:15 PM

I don’t think Brownie is in any position to read these comments.

infidel4life on October 24, 2007 at 7:44 PM

Question:

Who? was the most incompetent Bush appointee (or retainee from the Clinton Administration)
1. Colin Powell
2. Clueless Condi Rice
3. Michael Brown
4. Alberto Gonzales
5. George Tenet
6. Karen Hughes
7. Norm Minetta
8. Michael Chertoff

Hilts on October 24, 2007 at 9:01 PM

I’m curious as to what these people think the National Guard is going to do to a fire.

They lay down suppressing fire until they can call in an artillery strike.

BDavis on October 24, 2007 at 11:53 PM

Alright,
This is for all of the morons screaming, “Where’s the Natl. Guard, Oh they’re in Iraq” BS. First: they are here in San Diego, somewhere around 1,000 of them. They are manning barricades, directing traffic and guarding areas of homes from looters. There are a couple of H-60s here to help fight the fires along with 6 C-130s. They have been waiting for all of the damned red tape to get cleared up so they can go fight the fires. The Navy over at North Island has 10-12 H-60s ready to go at a moments notice. What’s the holdup? Cal-Fire (CDF) has this requirement that all non-agency aircraft have a “trained” spotter and guess what? They don’t have enough here to go around to all of the assets that are here.

ic1redeye on October 25, 2007 at 12:54 AM

the MAFFS C-130s are not that useful, not a knock against the military or the pilots, but the retardant systems on those are not that good, nor are the pilots very experienced, like the civilian guys who did it for decades but found themselve out of work when the large airtanker contracts were cancelled

There are lots of capable Douglas aircraft, modified as airtankers, sitting around having not flown in 3 years after contracts were cancelled by USFS/Federal Government.

California has contracted 2 DC-7s that flew for Oregon this summer, but due to USFS rules and since USFS did not contract or approve those planes, they cant drop on federal land in Cali, just state/private land

firepilot on October 25, 2007 at 12:16 PM

firepilot on October 25, 2007 at 12:16 PM

Why won’t the U.S. Forest Service allow the Russian Ilyushin Il-76 and other new waterbombers to come help fight the fires in Southern California?

It is my understanding the company that operates it offered the plane for just fuel and costs to demonstrate its ability just like during the last fires in San Diego.

Here is a youtube of the Russian Ilyushin 76 making a water drop.

ScottyDog on October 25, 2007 at 4:19 PM

Question:

Who? was the most incompetent Bush appointee (or retainee from the Clinton Administration)
1. Colin Powell
2. Clueless Condi Rice
3. Michael Brown
4. Alberto Gonzales
5. George Tenet
6. Karen Hughes
7. Norm Minetta
8. Michael Chertoff

Hilts on October 24, 2007 at 9:01 PM

9. ALL THE ABOVE

ScottyDog on October 25, 2007 at 4:20 PM