Posts Tagged: firefighters

Opinion

A wildfire prevention plan: Shorter grass on rangelands

A landscape shot of grazing range in Central California near the foothills. (Photo: David A. Litman, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California can take significant climate actions not just in such obvious areas as energy and transportation policy, but also in policy areas that some might find unlikely. It can start with land management – an area in which past shortcomings have contributed to creating our new era of megafires.

News

Wildfires: The latest chapter of Trump vs. California

Smoke from the Camp Fire, as seen on Nov. 8 from Black Butte Lake. (Photo: Caminor, via Shutterstock)

Sunrise, Nov. 8: Firefighters were dispatched to a small brush fire near Camp Creek Road in Butte County. Within 10 minutes, whipped by high winds, dry conditions and much fuel, the brush fire had exploded. By the end of the day, the fire had a name, the Camp Fire, and the town of Paradise was under an evacuation order.

News

Inmate firefighters risk death at $1 an hour

Firefighters cross scorched terrain in the Padres National Forest. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

Some were bank robbers, car thieves and burglars. Now they are on the front lines in the scary and dangerous job of saving California from raging wildfires. There are about 3,900 of them, all state prison inmate volunteers from 44 fire camps spread across California.

News

CalPERS makes debt, cost difficult to see

CalPERS' governing board during a 2013 meeting. (Photo: CalPERS board)

Calpensions: New annual CalPERS reports no longer prominently display the pension debt of local governments as a percentage of pay, making it more difficult for the public to easily see the full employer pension cost.

News

San Bernardino eyes cuts of police retirees’ pensions

San Bernardino police officers, members of the SWAT team. (Photo: Juno Kughler Carlson, omnitrans.org) omnitrans.org

San Bernardino’s plan to exit bankruptcy, possibly next year, cuts the pensions of 23 retired police officers who receive an unusual supplement to their regular CalPERS pension. The supplement boosts pensions to the same amount now common among police and firefighters, a standard set by the Highway Patrol in a CalPERS-sponsored bill, SB 400 in 1999.

News

In bankrupt San Bernardino, firefighting at crucial juncture

San Bernardino firefighters on the front lines. (Photo: Sheri Armstrong)

Bankrupt San Bernardino’s plan to cut costs by contracting for firefighter and other services has been aided by legislation and a court ruling. But a shortage of firefighters is causing a rough transition. A second fire station was closed earlier this month and others were hit with temporary “brownout” closures, delaying response times. New hires for 14 firefighter vacancies are not expected to complete training until next month.

News

Firefighters to drones: Buzz off

A drone and its master. (Photo: Ahturner)

Efforts to contain a July 12 brush fire in San Bernardino County were delayed for eight crucial minutes after response crews spotted a hobbyist’s drone flying close to the fire area. The drone, which US Forest Service officials suspect may have been recording footage of the fire, eventually flew off, allowing grounded air crews to resume. For firefighters, those lost minutes can be devastating as they try to contain a wildfire.

News

Proposed pension initiative targets local changes

The leaders of two local pension reforms, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio, are working with a coalition on a statewide initiative to help local governments make cost-cutting pension reforms. During a break at the Reason Foundation’s third annual Pension Summit in Sacramento last week, the two men said they are “on the same page” and working with a coalition on the details of a proposed initiative for the November 2016 state ballot.

News

2014: A look back at key stories

UC Davis students protest occupy Mrak Hall to protest tuition increases. (Photo:: Sacramento Bee, via Associated Press)

Californians started 2014 the way they ended the previous year – parched by drought, hoping for an improved economy, outraged at Capitol corruption scandals and, finally, looking some relief at the fuel pump. Compared with the drought, the rest of the top stories of 2014 seemed almost trivial. Almost, but not quite.

Opinion

Flame retardants: Chemical industry uses scare tactics

OPINION: It’s the end of August and, like the rest of California, Sacramento is seeing temperatures rise. But over at the Capitol, legislators are sitting in the middle of a blizzard of alarmist rhetoric from the chemical industry about legislation to disclose the use of toxic flame retardants on furniture.

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