Let It Burn!

Firefighters (Shutterstock www.shutterstock.com).

Firefighters (Shutterstock).

A decision by newly elected President Trump to freeze all federal government hiring has Forest Service employees wondering if they will be able to bring in emergency help during fire-fighting season, reports the Missoulian.

On Monday, Trump issued an order stating, “no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances.”

“The Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) may grant exemptions from this freeze where those exemptions are otherwise necessary,” the order continued.

According to National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) Council President Melissa Baumann, Trump’s decision may make the Forest Service’s job tough with hiring for permanent firefighting positions beginning next week at job fairs.

“We all had a hard time just trying to get hold of the executive order itself yesterday,” Baumann explained. “We’re waiting to see where the chips fall.”

Baumann added that the Forest Service hired about 11,000 seasonal workers in 2015, with at least 6,200 of those being firefighters or having firefighting-related duties. Additionally, many were hired as trail maintenance workers and forest rangers.


“By the time you get your undersecretary and all those people in place, you’re 60 to 90 days behind the scene and off schedule,” Duran explained. “I’m pretty sure they’ll give a (public safety) exemption, but you still won’t be able to staff up in a timely manner. In California, firefighting is already year-round. And in most other places, it’s getting year-round, too.”

According to Wildfire Today, “from the mid-1980s through 2015 the average number of acres burned has grown from about 2  million acres a year to around 8 million.”

This bit of governmental idiocy will not only put the populace, land, and wildlife at risk, it will put firefighters at risk as well. I have no doubt this will have a very negative and potentially dangerous effect on other important public sector jobs. Places all over are being ravaged by weather, and the additional disasters they bring, and that fucking idiot Donny can’t deal with those, either, as Mississippi is still waiting for emergency relief and assistance from the Twaddler-in-Chief, having been hit by severe storms, tornadoes, and floods. Naturally, Donny promised to “expedite the recovery process”, but so far, hasn’t done shit. You’re on your own, people.

Via Raw Story, one, two.


  1. says

    I do not see a problem here. All that is needed is for a tweet from President that forest fires are a chinese hoax and a decree forbiding anyone to even talk about them and problem is solved.

  2. komarov says

    Are you certain this isn’t a cunning plan of his to make it easier to finally strip-mine the national parks? That’s bound to be easier without trees getting in the way.

  3. Ogvorbis: A bear of very little brains. says

    Another way this negatively impacts all-hazards response (not just fires, also hurricanes, earthquakes, etc) is in what is called the fire militia. I work for the NPS. My job is publications, tours, educational groups. I also volunteer to be available as an SECM and SEC2 at federal incidents. We had one ranger transfer to the Army Corps of Engineers. Another one transferred to BLM. We planned to replace both and hire two more seasonals. We won’t be able to do that. Which means that the chances that I, or the other seven from my park who are part of the federal fire militia, will most likely not be available as we do not have the staff to keep up with our normal programs. My office has 8 people right now. We should have 11 to 13. Ain’t gonna happen.

    Not to worry. Tax cuts for millionaires will put out the fires.

  4. blf says

    Are you certain this isn’t a cunning plan of his to make it easier to finally strip-mine the national parks?

    Close, perhaps, but to the extent the problem has even occurred to the dalekracy — and I suspect it hasn’t occurred to them at all — the “solution” is simple: Contract it out to some of their nazi friends. Close a few “business units”, like the NPS, EPA, CDC, NIH, USGS, Nasa, and so on, to use the money “saved” to pay the contractors.

  5. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    Even if the plan was to strip-mine national parks, TheForestryIndustry™ would not permit burning.
    That would make a nice™ mini-series / movie franchise:
    post-collapse America breaks up not into feudal city-states but rather
    feudal industry-states.
    The Miners want the coal now, the Foresters want to cut the trees as they become marketable timber.
    car truck chases…

  6. Onamission5 says


    Our timber industries make themselves a tidy profit doing salvage logging on areas otherwise protected by environmental legislation. Harvesting fire damaged areas is a time sensitive endeavor, as the lumber is worthless within two years, so they can just push right in before environmental groups and/or contentious locals have their legal ducks in a row, and frequently do. The only thing totally off limits are designated wilderness areas like the Kalmiopsis. If a company has had their eye on a patch of protected old growth, fire can be their way around those protections and into the timber.

  7. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    Onamission5 #9
    my nym is chigau
    I know how to copy/paste.
    You are in which country?

  8. multitool says

    Trump just signed two new executive orders, one calling for the hiring of 10,000 new ICE immigration officers.

    They’re also going to vilify sanctuary cities:

    “(b) To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.”

    This reminds me of Rawanda radio, where you tell everyone every day how bad a particular group of people is, until somebody starts killing them.

  9. rq says

    So wait, ICE immigration officers aren’t working federal government jobs anymore?
    Oh, and this has the potential to be signed into existence, too. Which will probably need a few extra thousand government jobs for the vetting process.

    Re: the sanctuary cities
    I’ve already read about a few cities that are preparing for this (the lack of funding, that is), and not in a lie-down-and-take-it kind of way.
    I also saw reference somewhere (FB?) to an Office for Crimes Committed by Removable Aliens? So I’m left wondering, what is a ‘removable alien’? And how related is the term to ‘potential grizzlies’…?

  10. blf says

    So wait, ICE immigration officers aren’t working federal government jobs anymore?

    My moan in @7 about terminating government “business units” so as to outsource certain functions (not necessarily those terminated) to private contractors was more than just a jibe / snark: Teh trum-prat and his zillionaire “businessman” dalekracy really do think that way. Just look at how HugeCompaniesInc work. Slightly snarkily, whenever the CEO(typically) is annoyed at or with something, an entire “division” is eliminated. To the extent any reason is given, e.g. to the shareholders, it’s usually something quite vague, such as “underperformance” or “not part of our organic growth plans” or “cost reductions” or so on.

  11. Onamission5 says

    chigau Apologies for nym typo.

    I am in the country which is the subject of the OP, the one where the hiring freeze could likely result in uncontrolled fires: the US.

Leave a Reply