Monday, December 21, 2009

Firefighting Under Fire

Though the flames of the Jesusita Fire burned out long ago, the firefighting agencies who battled it are now under attack again, this time by an environmental group that claims the use of airplane-dropped fire retardant killed dozens of endangered steelhead trout. Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (FSEEE) — an environmental nonprofit focused on protecting whistle-blowers and pushing reform of the Forest Service's land use policy — filed a notice with the U.S. Department of Commerce on December 16 that it plans to file suit against the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. FSEEE maintains that the two fire protection agencies used a toxic flame retardant material that killed endangered steelhead trout during the Jesusita Fire last May. In accordance with the Endangered Species Act, FSEEE must wait 60 days before it can file a lawsuit. "That is to give the Department of Commerce an opportunity to do what this lawsuit would do, and that is enforce the Endangered Species Act," said Andy Stahl, FSEEE's executive director. "This lawsuit goes forward only if the government chooses not to enforce this law." more


Anonymous said...

As one whose friends' and family's homes were saved by the valiant efforts of the fire fighters all I can say is no fish is worth the devastation that kind of loss causes to people. Yet, these are not folks who live in the wilderness of the mountains, they live in the urban limits of Santa Barbara, well within the city. Time for the enviros to get some common sense. having played in maria ygnacio creek as a kid, all I can say in some places it resembles an open sewer.

The Westerner said...

Thanks for your "on the scene" comments.