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California: Save your home, go to jail.

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posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 08:53 AM
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It's a mundane story. California is burning (what else is new?) and all the firefighters are busily battling the fires to save homes.

But that's not the whole story. On CNN's web site, the rest of the story is summed up in a couple of lines:

A homeowner near Big Sur was arrested Friday after officials said he refused orders to stop setting his own backfires.

Source: www.cnn.com...


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


That's all I could find online, but on the boob tube, there's more. CNN on TV is reporting that a man who saved 8 homes in the Big Sur area, Micah Curtis, by lighting his own backfire, properly, not carelessly, has been threatened with up to a year in prison and $10,000 in fines. Whoops, not the man who did the evil act of saving his and others' homes, but the man's brother, who took the heat because he wanted his brother, Ross, to continue protecting their homes. Micah Curtis is reported to have previous experience in setting backfires from working as a firefighter 30 years ago.

Apparently it is now illegal to fight a fire to save your home in California. Now I can understand laws against burning in an area so obviously prone to fire damage, but when someone in an emergency situation demonstrates sound judgement, should this not be encouraged? Or perhaps this man's actions are contrary to an agenda that relegates citizens to robots, forbidden to care for themselves and at the mercy of the government.

CNN also is reporting that, while lighting backfires is illegal in most cases, it is legal if it can be proven it was necessary to save life and/or property. Ross Curtis was still arrested.

Another example of big brother knowing best, even when it is clear they do not.

After typing this, I did another google search and fouind these links:


In the end, the controlled burn they set helped save the homes on their beloved Apple Pie Ridge -- but not without major consequences.

Outraged authorities arrested Ross Curtis, 48, on Friday on suspicion of illegally setting a backfire after disobeying official orders to stop.

His older brother, Micah, remains in Big Sur but is acting like a wanted man, dodging sheriff's deputies when he descends from the homestead to Highway 1.

Source: mobile.latimes.com...


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



As the fire closed in on three sides, Micah Curtis said, they used a flare to set controlled burns no more than a dozen feet from the blaze. That not only steered it away from their houses, he said, but also created a broader line of defense, which helped state and federal fire crews protect the village below.

Giving a tour of the property over the weekend, Micah Curtis bumped into a state fire captain doing mop-up work with an inmate crew.

The captain, who asked not to be identified because of the controversy, praised the work of the amateurs of Apple Pie Ridge.

"I'll tell you what," the captain told him, "you guys did a good job of holding it."

Praise also came from other professionals.

Source: www.latimes.com...


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


TheRedneck




posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 09:04 AM
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its not just illegal i calai. you have to be a perscribed fire manager. i used to work on my fathers farm where we did perscribed alot of training is involved. lighting and fighting is no jokeing matter. ive seen many back fires "jump" into areas and turn in nightmares instantly. all it takes is a shift of the wind. and guess what fire alone can shift the wind.
even when you are prepared and on the spot to fight these "jumps" its often imposible. the only thing you can do is go cut more fire lanes. cant tell you how many times we had to call the fire department. or how much equipment we lost...

this man could have killed even more people and damaged more homes. he could have started more fires for the over worked fighters.

to come to his defence is insane.



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 09:13 AM
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I think the man did what he had to do. If saving your home and your neighbors is a crime in California, something's terribly wrong with their penal code..


[edit on 7/8/08 by LLoyd45]



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 09:22 AM
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reply to post by DaleGribble
What is more insane, to sit back and wait on 'professionals', or to attempt to save oneself?

I fully understand the dangers you mention, and apparently so did Mr. Curtis. If you will read my full post, you will see his work was praised by several of the professionals who were unable to help him in time. I was unable to include the entire list of praises due to the length of them.

We live in a world where people seem to believe that the only person able to do something are those employed in doing the thing. Only a policeman may confront a criminal. only a firefighter may fight a fire. Only a mechanic may fix a car. Only a teacher may train a child. Only a doctor may diagnose/treat illness.

And when those professionals fail, it's all OK, because they tried valiantly. Should someone else try and succeed, it's a terrible thing, because they may have made a mistake.

This is about more than one man saving his home (and his neighbors' homes), it is about people being forced into inability to care for themselves over oppressive governmental regulation.

I am not a truck driver. That is my job, yes, that is what I do every day to make my living. But I am more. I can control fires, as long as they're small; yet I am not a firefighter. I can grow my own food; I am not a farmer. I can handle a gun; I am not a policeman or soldier. I can build a house or shop; I am not a contractor. I can fence a pasture; I am not a rancher. I can teach my children; I am not a teacher. I can install new lighting; I am not an electrician. I can fix a water line; I am not a plumber.

Perhaps you are only what you do; I am more, and so should every person be more than what it says on a paycheck. Should a fire come my way, I will call for help, but until that help arrives, I will fight it myself. Should I be threatened, yes, I will call 911 if possible, but I will also not stand around and hope someone shows up before I get a rash of bullet holes. I will fight back myself. Should I need a new room on my house, I may call a contractor for a price, but I may also simply build one.

A man is more than a label.

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
reply to post by DaleGribble

I am not a truck driver. That is my job, yes, that is what I do every day to make my living. But I am more. I can control fires, as long as they're small; yet I am not a firefighter. I can grow my own food; I am not a farmer. I can handle a gun; I am not a policeman or soldier. I can build a house or shop; I am not a contractor. I can fence a pasture; I am not a rancher. I can teach my children; I am not a teacher. I can install new lighting; I am not an electrician. I can fix a water line; I am not a plumber.

Perhaps you are only what you do; I am more, and so should every person be more than what it says on a paycheck. Should a fire come my way, I will call for help, but until that help arrives, I will fight it myself. Should I be threatened, yes, I will call 911 if possible, but I will also not stand around and hope someone shows up before I get a rash of bullet holes. I will fight back myself. Should I need a new room on my house, I may call a contractor for a price, but I may also simply build one.

A man is more than a label.

TheRedneck


a lable will help keep you out of jail.
a am a trained fire manager (diffrent from a fire fighter)i would not have faced this punishment.

i agree with most of your posts. but not this one. what you are saying to me sounds like its ok to save yourself at the expence of others. suppose the wind changed. suppose the back fire drew more wind to the head fire. 10,000 dollars is extencive. but look at the bigger picture this man and his neighbors arent the only people that live in cali. one areas back fire is a head fire in another simple as that. and its why you have to be trained when setting large fires.



[edit on 15amu92007 by DaleGribble]



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 09:54 AM
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reply to post by DaleGribble
I doubt I would have faced this either. I am not trained in firefighting, and this is a bit more extensive than burning off a field or a brushpile.

I don't even know how to start a backfire. But that's not the point. The point is that this man is reported to have been trained, and his very actions showed that he knew what he was doing. I ask you, what is the difference between a firefighter setting a backfire and a homeowner who is capable of doing so setting a backfire? As I understand it, either one can turn into a disaster with wind shifts. As I understand it, either one can unintentionally cause more damage than it saves.

The only difference is who is getting paid. That is a superficial difference to my thinking, and one that is dangerously prevalent in today's society. I would wager that you, as a fire manager (not sure exactly what that entails, but that's ignorance on my part), probably have seen some seriously inept firefighters in your time. I would assume they were few and far between and they didn't last, but they do still exist. They have to, just as you have bad cops, bad teachers, bad politicians.... er, OK, good politicians, we're talking the exception, not the rule... anyway, you get my point.

I will agree that should someone set a backfire that is poorly executed and that causes damage, they should be held accountable. But this man saved 8 homes. Is that not the purpose of those who praised him, the professionals?

And a label may keep you out of jail, but at what cost?

TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 10:00 AM
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The difference is this

As a home owner you have no resources to call in if something goes wrong and this man trained or untrained could have burned his neighbors' houses down as well..

If you have never seen a backfire get out of control then you haven't been around them very often every year there are prescribed burns that get out of control the difference is that as a fire dept forestry dept you can call in additional resource to regain control of the fire or at least attempt to as a home owner you don't have anything but yourself..

I attended some forestry training courses years ago and was nearly burnt to a crisp by a young first timer with a drip torch had to deploy my fire shelter and everything scared the hell out of me but gave me a very up close and personal respect for what should and shouldn't be done with these fires..



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 10:14 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


im not really focusing on this one situation. if the man would have saved my home he would have been a hero as i have lost a house this way a few years ago. im trying to see the big picture.

my fire manager license expires soon as i no longer work for my father. and see no need in renewing it. being a fire manager trains you how and why to start fires. and being a firefighter trains you how and why to stop them. sure most all firefighters in cali would know how to properly start a back fire. but weather conditions are a huge factor in the safty of one. did he employ this factor? i dont know. and its not really my point.

i cant say i really got paid for that label, in the farming biz. it was more like haveing a first aid certifaction compaired to being an EMT. its just been my experince that doing such thing are extremely dangrous. although ive never seen lose of life from doing. i have caused several thousands of dollars of damage and had to make a trip or two to the hospital. and although this man may be a poor example one has to be made. or elese you will have a bunch of idiots going around setting backfires willy nilly. there is alot of potential threat this man cause, and not on propuse.

[edit on 15amu102007 by DaleGribble]



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 10:16 AM
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Oh no! A man thinking for himself! I can't think of anything more threatening than a man who actually makes a decision for himself. Instead of waiting in apathy for overwhelmed uniforms to come save his home, he took action! Give him life! He's a detriment to society!

In all honesty, he's done a wonderful job, not only in saving these homes, but in exposing the governmental machine for what it is... A power hungry bully, who would rather see peoples lives ruined than let someone else take the credit for saving them.



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 10:21 AM
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reply to post by geocom
 


you were lucky. the only fire shelter i ever got was my drip toruch, fire extingusher and an indian water cannon. and my feet


saved my arse more than once though. ive been caught in between a head fire and a back fire that went wrong. oxygen gets sucked away from you so fast you can feel the presure change. i had spray a ring around me with the water cannon and light fire around myself just to stay alive. my bigbear made one hell of explosion with 5 gallons of hot mix on the back of it though.

[edit on 15amu102007 by DaleGribble]

[edit on 15amu102007 by DaleGribble]



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 11:17 AM
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files.abovetopsecret.com...

files.abovetopsecret.com...
same image just a little bigger


just wanted to show you guys a cool pic from my days of prescribed burning. that is me in the middle.

you can tell who was doing all the work.




[edit on 15amu112007 by DaleGribble]



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 11:27 AM
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reply to post by LLoyd45
 


I have a feeling that starting your own backfire is illegal in every state in America, not just California. Maybe you should have looked further into the matter before trying to mock their penal code. It makes you look like a fool.

Here is an example from the other end of the country, in Florida...
www.floridahabitat.org...

According to the most recent prescribed burn technical guide, a prescribed burn is defined as “fire applied in a knowledgeable manner to forest fuels on a specific land area under selected weather conditions to accomplish predetermined, well-defined management objectives” (Wade and Lunsford, 1989)


Under the provisions of Section 590.125(2), any person may legally conduct a prescribed burn provided that he owns or controls the land he plans to burn, has obtained prior authorization from DOF, has provided adequate fire lines, manpower and firefighting equipment to control the fire, monitors the fire until it is extinguished, and confines the fire within the authorized area. Violation of any of these provisions constitutes a second degree misdemeanor. In addition, the violator may be held liable for any damage or injury caused by fire or resulting smoke damage, regardless of whether or not there is criminal prosecution and conviction.

Whether certified or not, no individual is allowed to prescribed burn during a declared emergency drought unless a written permit is obtained from DOF (Section 590.081). In any event, DOF generally will not authorize a prescribed burn (verbally or in writing) during periods of extreme drought conditions.


Do you care to mock their penal code as well? Or the penal codes of the other 48 states?

I agree that the man in California did what he thought he had to to save his property, but if indeed he was a veteran firefighter, he should know the consequences of his actions during an fire emergency. Just because his actions were a success doesn't deny the fact that he broke the law. Sorry.

DocMoreau



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by DocMoreau

I agree that the man in California did what he thought he had to to save his property, but if indeed he was a veteran firefighter, he should know the consequences of his actions during an fire emergency. Just because his actions were a success doesn't deny the fact that he broke the law. Sorry.



He probably did know the consequences of his action, weighed them against the consequence of inaction, and decided to do something about it.

You have a problem that threatens your life as you know it. You have knowledge and skill to deal with it. Tell me you're going to obey the law and sit there waiting for the government to come to your rescue because you fear man's law. They might show up in time to see you standing next to your charred foundation, if they get there at all.

And speaking of man's law, why are the lawmakers so special that i must allow them to be my rulers? That's an illusion in itself, man has no authority over other men, he only creates the illusion that he does and uses it as a method to control others. Allah is the only entity that truly has the right to rule men.



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 12:06 PM
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as a home owner in cali, it should be required to learn backburning an such, just so if this happens everyone is that much the wiser.... an no one goes to jail or gets fines for saving their home....

Reguardless of the risks. since their was a fire already burning... Those risks imo were already engaged without his backburning even started....

He did what any survival joe would of.... Survived. Thats something Mundane America doesnt know about.



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 12:19 PM
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Originally posted by Trance Optic
as a home owner in cali, it should be required to learn backburning an such, just so if this happens everyone is that much the wiser.... an no one goes to jail or gets fines for saving their home....

probably not a bad idea. because you learn other ways to contain a fire.if cali is like south carolina all one needs is apply and go take the course. a back fire is not a toy. or for that matter a tool that should be used without much experince.



Reguardless of the risks. since their was a fire already burning... Those risks imo were already engaged without his backburning even started....


this statement however is not something i can not agree with.

its kinda like trying to fight a war on multi fronts. you spread your resources too thin. and is i have stated in earlier posts a back fire in one area is a head fire in another. fire is trule an awsome thing almost like it has a life of its own. fire dosent always obey weather conditions it can also create its own. im not talking about a house fire im talking about one spread over several acres with flames over 100ft. the heat alone is enough to ignite fire in a un-intended place. seen it happen many times. one of my former burining mates learned this fact when we were 30 meters from a head fire and his leather chaps caught aflame. he looked at me and said, "man this fire is realy hot." all i could tell him was it was hot cause you are on fire.' i dont think i ever laughed so hard in my life, when we got the fire out. just to let you know he was alright.




[edit on 15pmu122007 by DaleGribble]



posted on Jul, 8 2008 @ 11:25 PM
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reply to post by DocMoreau
 



good find.

anyone who wishes to become a fire manager in good ole cali

wildlandrx.com...

its is an option...



posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 12:09 AM
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DaleGribble

geocom


We had a friend who lived out in the country and decided just to start a little debris fire in his backyard to get rid of the pile of leaves and branches. Yep, in short time the fire found its way into old tree roots and entered his neighbors yard, burning a fence and some of the neighbor's stuff. He was cited for an illegal burn.

I like the idea of a homeowner who lives in areas like this homeowner could go through training. But, all in all, a fire takes what a fire takes sometimes, and no matter how well intentioned this person was, he was also very lucky! Lord, yes, even controlled burns do get out of control sometimes. People should not think that they can do what this man did with the same success.



posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 12:19 AM
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I have been at the site of a forest fire once, the flames are a wall over a hundred feet in the air. Firing a flare gun a dozen feet in front of that wall is of no significance, I am amazed it could have a positive effect. What negative effect could it have, it's like farting in the path of a tornado!



posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 12:29 AM
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reply to post by DocMoreau
 
Frankly I could care the least what the penal code says when it comes to my home and my property. I'll do what I feel is necessary to save them. They can take me to court and argue their idiotic position in front of a jury.


[edit on 7/9/08 by LLoyd45]



posted on Jul, 9 2008 @ 12:36 AM
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So, in short, this man should have stood back and watched his and his neighbors houses burn down because he may have made a mistake setting his backfire and burned his and his neighbors houses down?

You people who support the law no matter what are precisely what's killing this country. If it's the law, then it must be right, just and designed with my best interests at heart. Pfft!




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