Bulldozers were ready to fight California fires. Why did Forest Service turn them away?
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Loyalton fire was 2 days old and starting to pick up momentum in a heavily forested area 50 miles north of Lake Tahoe. That’s when Jeff Holland offered to help.Holland’s logging company, CTL Forest Management Inc., happened to have an array of firefighting equipment — bulldozers, water trucks, a wood-chipping machine called a masticator — parked on a property he owns in Loyalton, just west of where the fire started in mid-August. He proposed hiring out the equipment to the U.S. Forest Service, which was in charge of fighting the fire.He was turned down.“I had several p...
The Sacramento Bee
Tough fire season takes toll on firefighters' mental health
Josh Baker just got home from a 50-day deployment to three California wildfires. Although his job wasn’t dangerous — he worked on a support team, making calls to track down equipment such as port-a-potties and bulldozers — the hours were long, the stakes were high and the work was exhausting.He’s still feeling tense. “I’m anxious, nerves are kind of frayed, things that would normally not be a big deal — kind of water off a duck’s back — hit a little harder,” said Baker, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) fire captain who spoke to Stateline as a member of the age...
The Bear Fire 'smoldered for weeks,' then destroyed a town. Was Forest Service slow to fight it?
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Started by a lightning strike in mid-August, the Bear Fire had been burning for weeks in the rugged mountain terrain of the Plumas National Forest — attracting comparatively little attention from the public or media as much larger wildfires burned elsewhere in Northern California.And then on Tuesday, with fierce Diablo winds blowing, it turned into a monster. By Wednesday, it had destroyed much of the tiny community of Berry Creek, had killed three people and was threatening the city of Oroville.The sudden devastation left some local officials irate and defeated Berry Cree...
The Sacramento Bee