As Wildfires Rage Across Texas, Feds Take Control and Scuttle Volunteer Firefighters
(NaturalNews) As fires raged across central Texas for the past three days, local citizens sprang into action to protect their lives and property. Local churches opened their doors and began hosting refugees left homeless by the fires which have now destroyed more than 1,000 homes and 100,000 acres across the state in just the past week. Several branches of the YMCA also began hosting families with children, and a public school in Bastrop County opened its doors to serve as an emergency relief center.
See a YouTube video of a citizen's narrow escape around Highway 21 near Bastrop, Texas: click here.
Federal agencies seize control on Tuesday
Hundreds of firefighters from all the surrounding counties worked two days and nights in a heroic effort to contain the fires, but high winds Sunday night and all day Monday thwarted their efforts. So the call went out for more volunteer firefighters to join the effort from across the state.
Before they arrived, however, the federal government showed up and claimed it was in charge of the situation. "Agents with the federal National Interagency Fire Center, a coalition of federal agencies including the U.S. Forest Service, assumed command of firefighting efforts Tuesday afternoon," reports The Gonzales Cannon.
RealNewsReporter.com is now reporting that volunteer firefighters who had in some cases driven all night to reach Bastrop county were turned away by the feds, who claimed that since local officials never made a "formal request" for volunteers, the volunteers could not be "activated."
So while Bastrop County burns from 40+ fires that are still raging, the federal government is actually telling volunteer firefighters to go home.
"We were at the station getting set up into strike teams, and this guy came up and said that the U.S. Forest Service had 'assumed control of the situation,' and that' If you don't have a vehicle that squirts water, go home'," said Gordon Greer of Kirbyville, in a Real News Reporter article (click here to read). Gordon reportedly drove all night Monday to arrive in Bastrop and take part in the firefighting effort. "You've got guys who had driven all night long from Corpus Christi and Brownsville on their own dime, and they turned them away," he said.
That same story reports that Jennifer Jones of the U.S. National Interagency Incident Center confirmed multiple federal agencies would be taking over the scene. Tuesday afternoon, the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management stated on its Facebook page that volunteer firefighters would have to be "activated by the National Forestry Service first."
In other words, if you're a local Texan and you want to help other Texans save their ranches, or their homes, or their businesses, you need permission from the federal bureaucracy first!
But some Texans aren't allowing their efforts to be thwarted. As Real News Reporter says in its story, a group of Texas Nationalist Movement members who are also certified firefighters are in the Bastrop area and aiding civilian relief efforts, with or without permission from Washington D.C.
Posted by DarbyJie on 09/08/11 10:48 AM
"You should never elect anybody from Chicago nor should we elect anybody from Quebec. Just plain stupid."
Indeed. Such quaint things, elections, are they not? The People's voice, and sooo heartening --Yep.
Posted by tsunami on 09/08/11 09:26 AM
TRollsome It seems to me that much of your constitution has been bypassed for many years now, and the Constitution of the USA is what the courts say it is. I would not like it either, but short of civil unrest (not likely to happen as most are too timid or don't care) Washington is gathering more and more power over your lives. This is true in most countries as evidenced with Merkel in Germany and Sarkozy in France.
It is simply a fact of life. Shouldn't be but is and getting worse with the election of more and more power players to office.
You should never elect anybody from Chicago nor should we elect anybody from Quebec. Just plain stupid.
Posted by clark on 09/08/11 12:07 AM
Avatar asked, "I do not see how Washington can supersede the State in this situation."
There's precedence, the rule of law does not apply any longer, and they're all in it together now.
Some People think, "The locals need only elbow the feds out of the way."
Problem is, the locals have been federalized, and the locals enjoy their ability to take what they want.
The local sheriff's are Not in awe of the feds, they are the feds.
Look over these well written examples:
Click to view link
Posted by Avatar on 09/07/11 08:11 PM
Unless this is National Forest Land, I do not see how Washington can supersede the State in this situation. Story seems a bit fishy.
Posted by Summer on 09/07/11 07:11 PM
Unfortunately, fires rage. Yes, they do. In many countries but from varying 'sources'. What goes around... ?
Posted by Trollsome on 09/07/11 01:59 PM
Tsunami, an agency can have all the mandates behind it as it wants, but if it is not allowed for in the U.S. Constitution, then it is nothing more than the mouse that roared, it's bullying background notwithstanding. Whether the state's constitution calls for it to "allow" a federal agency in first or not is moot to me, as in this instance, the state holds all the cards. (I'm not familiar with Texas' constitution.)
This doesn't need to go to the courts at all. The locals need only elbow the feds out of the way. What's going to happen then? The feds start arresting/shooting? The local sheriffs need to grow a pair, stop being in awe of the feds, and step in to begin with.
Posted by dotti on 09/07/11 11:37 AM
Re: "I also know that this was the problem with Katrina when politics entered the picture and the Governor never activated FEMA soon enough."
I have watched history revised to blame the Bush administration and create a meme that FEMA did not act quickly enough in the case of Katrina. It is very frustrating when I watched the news accounts where the LA governor refused to request disaster aid--presumably for the political purpose of making the Bush Admin look bad--but maybe also to help set the precedent for the PTB to send in those who will say: "We're from the government and we're here to help."
I'm glad that you are looking into the regulations that apply. Thanks for that.
Posted by tsunami on 09/07/11 11:25 AM
Trollsome I do not say I like it but if this Federal National agency has a Federal legislated mandate as does FEMA then there are conditions under which is has to operate.
My question to you is do you know if this is a Legislated Federal organization or not?
If it is then there seems to be two additional questions:
-do they have the authority to do as they are doing?
- Is it required as FEMA is to be called by the State before moving in?
If it is a legislated mandated organization and they are operating within that mandate then the only recourse to sue or appeal to the courts including your Supreme court.
I agree that on the surface they seem high handed and are way over the top, but as an outsider I don't know your laws like you do.
Posted by SgPoyzer on 09/07/11 11:16 AM
How is it that the Federal government seizes control of what is clearly an internal state situation. While the Feds may be called in for assistance, there is no authority by which they can "seize control."
Posted by DarbyJie on 09/07/11 11:04 AM
"But some Texans aren't allowing their efforts to be thwarted. As Real News Reporter says in its story, a group of Texas Nationalist Movement members who are also certified firefighters are in the Bastrop area and aiding civilian relief efforts, with or without permission from Washington D.C."
The real agenda of FEMA's presence will be revealed by whether THIS group is allowed to function with aid. From all appearances, and based on previous FEMA history such as in the Katrina disaster, the probability of their being allowed to contribute aid is extremely low... a situation which imo has been extremely obvious for *quite some time.* FEMA is not pro-America... ... .
Posted by Trollsome on 09/07/11 10:50 AM
Tsunami, have you seen FEMA anywhere in Article 1, Section 8? Just because an agency exists, doesn't mean that it has a Constitutional "right" to exist. And no, it can't be lumped into the military, either.
Posted by Trollsome on 09/07/11 10:46 AM
Dotti, it's only dead when its last supporter dies.
Posted by dotti on 09/07/11 10:40 AM
Re: "The local and state officials need to stand up to this intimidation. After all, they have the Constitution on their side--specifically the Tenth Amendment."
I heartily applaude your efforts.
I am afraid that I have come to believe that our Constitution no longer provides us refuge. The term "Living Constitution" is used by those who would have us believe that the original Constitution has died.
They may, unfortunately, be correct.
Posted by tsunami on 09/07/11 10:37 AM
Trollsome Are you sure of that? In the case of your FEMA once they are called in they take control of the situation.
Posted by tsunami on 09/07/11 10:35 AM
Dotti It is not a tradition but a Congressional Legislated requirement in the case of FEMA. That was part of the original Bill approved by Congress in the 40s in your country. It is the law.
We have no such law here in Canada. Here each Province (State) makes the determination and will ask the Inter-provincial co ordination centre in Winnipeg for assistance if they need it. The Inter-Provincial agency is only co-ordinating obtaining of fire fighters from the other Provinces then they are finished.
Posted by tsunami on 09/07/11 09:33 AM
Dotti Good question. As a Canadian I do know that we currently have several hundred fire fighters in the USA fighting fires but we were requested to send them by the State the Boise Operation.
I do know that FEMA can only be activated on a request from the State Governor. That stipulation is imbedded in your legislation in your Capital.
I also know that this was the problem with Katrina when politics entered the picture and the Governor never activated FEMA soon enough.
I have e-mailed the Federal National Fire people and asked that question as it may be a different either regulation (not binding) or Federal Legislation which was also bought into by the States.
Being from Canada it has no direct impact on me but this action by the Feds does seem counter productive.
Posted by Trollsome on 09/07/11 09:08 AM
The "multiple federal agencies" have no jurisdiction there, and should have been sent packing, or, better, the locals should have bossed them around and put them in their place. I'm sure the feds would have pouted and cried all the way to Washington.
The local and state officials need to stand up to this intimidation. After all, they have the Constitution on their side--specifically the Tenth Amendment.
Iowa Coordinator, Tenth Amendment Center
Click to view link
Posted by alexsemen on 09/07/11 08:56 AM
IDIOCRACY ,WHAT ELSE !?
Posted by dotti on 09/07/11 08:44 AM
Re: "That same story reports that Jennifer Jones of the U.S. National Interagency Incident Center confirmed multiple federal agencies would be taking over the scene. Tuesday afternoon, the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management stated on its Facebook page that volunteer firefighters would have to be "activated by the National Forestry Service first.""
This story chills my blood. Perhaps a certain irrational paranoia is setting in, but I can imagine that any "trouble spot" in the future--perhaps food riots or unemployment protests--could be taken over by the feds. "Keep moving folks. There's nothing to see here." [Airplane]
Might it be NATO taking charge of trouble spots in the not-too-distant future?
There has been a tradition of feds not going into any disaster area until asked in by the state's governor. [This wreaked havoc during the Katrina disaster when the LA governor refused to request federal assistance.]
Did this happen in this case--Did Texas invite the feds in? I consider this to be a very important question. Anybody got the answer?