August 25, 1999
Governor Gray Davis
I am writing to you regarding the California Department of Forestry.
thought now would be a good time to write this to you because C.D.F.
the midst of its most wasteful time. I don't know if former
Wilson and your opinions are the same regarding the C.D.F., but I have
heard they are not. I work with many people from the fire industry
all government agencies. Out of all the agencies I work with
Suppression, the C.D.F. is by far the most wasteful agency among them.
have heard from several C.D.F. employees that are very excited that
were elected Governor because they feel that you are on their side
going to make their gravy train sweeter.
Currently there are several large fires in California. If you
with the nature of wild fires than the waste that is going on is very
to spot. Just go to Redding on the Shasta Dam where they currently
enormous amounts of equipment standing by watching the fire grow in
to pad the budget. There are currently fire engines from Oakland
Francisco and Souther CA sitting in camp milking our hard earned tax
dollars as we speak. Because I am very familiar with the way
operates I can almost guarantee that there are also engines from all
California that don't need to be there. You might be thinking,
they need the engines. Why are we using huge structure engines
ladders and turnout gear when engines built for fighting wild fires
available locally from the U.S.F.S. the B.L.M. and the private sector.
They don't need these types of Engines on wild land fires staffed
fire fighters that don't have the first clue regarding wild land fire.
These are structure engines with paramedics. What they
do is all give
each other high fives in Oakland or whereever they come from and start
cheering because they are going to get overtime, hazard pay,
differential and per diem for two weeks for sitting in camp on top
of a dam
>From several sources in Redding and Chico I have heard that most of
people assigned to the fires are sitting around in camp with a very
attitude in equipment that isn't right for the job.
You wouldn't bring a
screwdriver to take off a nut would you? They are milking the
clock. I have heard that they could of put those fires out much
than they had but instead decided to order city engines from all over
California to come and hang out for awhile to pad the budget.
standard C.D.F. procedure. Every summer they have some fires
at the end of
the year that they are purposely slow to react on in order to justify
mobilizing resources from everywhere. It is disgusting.
I know several
C.D.F. employees that brag about the kind of hours they get for doing
nothing. For example: A C.D.F. employee was starting his
first day of the
fire season. He had to drive to his station to pick up his gear
season. It wasn't his regular scheduled day to work for the season
got paid overtime for ten hours to drive to his station and get his
The first hour he worked he was paid overtime. That is
ridiculous just to
walk in the station and grab his stuff and put a few stickers on his
helmet. I personally worked on a fire under the management of
C.D.F as a
captain on an Engine that made up a strike team of engines. I
was paid a
ridiculous amount of money and sat in camp for two weeks. Up
until then it
had been a really slow fire season and the overtime wasn't that good
Luckily, for fire fighters on this fire, the C.D.F. allowed this
fire to turn into a large one allowing us to get called. We drove
hours to get there sat in camp for two weeks and I went back to school
$4300.00 dollars in my pocket for doing nothing except driving for
hours. Please keep in mind that I was only one person on that
They also had to pay two other firefighters and the engine.
Again, what a
If you really want to understand what I am talking about, all you have
do is send someone in plain clothes out to the fires. Take a
camp and talk to the firefighters about what they have done since they
been there. Go down to some of the local restaurants where they
or playing pool at night (on tax dollars)and ask them how much they
making, how many hours they are getting, how many wild
fires they have
been on before and if they have seen any fire yet. They will
they have seen some fire because it is C.D.F. policy that if you just
fire you get that glorious Hazard pay for you whole shift. Even
fire was fifty miles away. It will really open your eyes to the
ridiculous waste that is going on. The C.D.F. is a master of
the media and creating an illusion that there is a disaster happening
they are needed so they can pad their budgets. They are very
at milking the government for our tax dollars every summer. C.D.F
definitely needed to an extent, but they take that need and exploit
the fullest every year near the end of the fire season.
Please take a look at the Daily Fire Situation Report on the internet
compare the amount of resources that are used on a California fire
resources used on fires in other states. You will be shocked
Here is the address. http://www.nifc.gov/news/sitreprt.html.
this will clue you in.
Thank you for your consideration,
A concerned tax payer hoping your concerned about the California taxpayers
as a whole.