WASHINGTON (AP) - White House: Obama to tour devastating Colorado wild fires, thank firefighters Friday.— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) June 27, 2012
After more than two weeks of deafening silence as fires blaze, President Obama finally remembers that Colorado exists and that people there are suffering.
Twitter users aren’t prostrating themselves because His Majesty has finally deigned to pay attention.
It is a desperate situation and has been for some time. Hopefully, President Obama will finally do something to help someone other than himself. Or, eco-nuts. Maybe President Obama will do something about the aerial fighting fleet that his policies shrunk.
“Less than a year ago, the same administration seemed to be doing its best to leave the Forest Service ill-equipped to deal with the mounting wildfire threat, by summarily cancelling a contract with a company that furnished roughly one third of the wildfire-fighting tankers in the agency’s already-depleted fleet. That action might loom large as calls mount for an investigation into why the agency’s air assets seem inadequate to meet the threat.”
Washington-based Human Events magazine reported in September of 2011 that nearly half of the federal government’s air tankers sat idle at a California airport, as wildfires ripped through national forests throughout California, Texas, New Mexico, and other states.
It turns out the Obama administration ended a long-standing contract, leaving the Forest Service with only 11 tankers to battle 50 wildfires that were burning nationwide. A decade ago, the Forest Service had 40 firefighting tankers.
The Obama administration canceled the government’s contract with Aero Union — a company with 60 employees that had been under contract with the Forest Service for 50 years. Though it canceled that contract, the administration had no plan for an immediate replacement. Aero Union CEO Britt Gourley told Human Events the administration provided no details on why the contract was ended.
“They didn’t want to talk about it,” Gourley said of Obama administration officials.