Another day… another ridiculous statement from the former governor of California.
Jerry Brown told Congress earlier this week that President Donald Trump and the Republican Party were responsible for the ongoing California fires because of their opposition to drastic climate change policies.
Ironically, he made the same arguments in 2015 and 2107 during fires and even ‘climate change’ experts told him that there was no science to back up his claims, calling his argument an example of “noble-cause corruption.”
Brown was testifying against efforts by the Trump administration to rescind California’s waiver that previously allowed it to set its own emissions standards for vehicles — effectively giving the state control of the entire auto industry. The administration argues that California’s policy is worse for the environment because higher standards make new cars — which are more energy-efficient than old cars — more difficult for consumers to buy.
“California’s burning while the (climate change) deniers make a joke out of the standards that protect us all,” Brown told the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday, as quotedby the San Francisco Chronicle. “The blood is on your soul here and I hope you wake up. Because this is not politics, this is life, this is morality. This is real.”
Yet Brown apparently found a way to make it political. And it is real, for the people who have been displaced and lost their homes and business, or worse, a family member.
And it is extremely real to the officers, firefighters and EMT teams that are doing their jobs, as they do every day, putting their lives on the line for the communities that they serve and protect.
So, where should the blame be directed? Roxy Hamilton of JoeforAmerica.com seems to have figured it out.
“Try PG&E for taking money from customers for utilities all these years and not updating the infrastructure. Try the environmentalist whackos in California who stop brush and trees from being cleared from power lines,” she writes.
She pulls no punches.
“Try the leadership of California which has taxed and regulated businesses into the ground creating a breeding ground for this kind of catastrophe — that includes the homeless wasteland there in California. You can even blame an act of God for some of this apocalyptic infernal misery.”
According to an article published by Breitbart:
“The ongoing California wildfires have a variety of causes”.
The immediate cause of the Getty Fire in Los Angeles appears to be a tree branch that was blown by high winds into power lines, according to the Los Angeles Times.
There are many that fault California and its utility companies for spending money on complying with “green” initiatives rather than on burying power lines. Others also cite homeless camps, where past fires have started, and poor forestry management policies that have barred the clearing of brush that can provide fuel for wildfires.
Does PG&E understand the ramifications of its decisions?
“The safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our most important responsibility, which is why PG&E has decided to turn power off to customers during this widespread, severe wind event,” said Michael Lewis.
He’s PG&E’s senior vice president of electric operations.
“We understand the effects this event will have on our customers and appreciate the public’s patience as we do what is necessary to keep our communities safe and reduce the risk of wildfire.”
But tempers flared against the utility provider. In fact, a cautious PG&E erected barriers around its San Francisco headquarters Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the California Highway Patrol is investigating whether someone shot at a PG&E truck last Tuesday night.
The CHP initially reported that a rock had shattered the passenger-side window of one of the utility’s vehicles, which was traveling south on Interstate 5 in the small Northern California town of Maxwell. But when an officer took a closer look, there was “some evidence that it might have been a bullet that hit thewindow,” said Officer Cal Robertson of the CHP’s Northern Division.
As is the norm, wildfires and extended power outages lead to evacuations of entire neighborhoods and communities. These properties sitting empty create easy targets for looters, burglars and car thieves. N
ot only are these actions illegal, it places people at greater risk. Not only do the criminals take a chance on getting trapped by the fires, but it risks the safety and lives of police and other emergency responders as the seek to apprehend and/or rescue said lawbreakers.
In November of 2018, during last year’s spreading wildfires, authorities announced that at least six people have been arrested while attempting to take advantage of the vacant homes and vehicles in the evacuation zone.
The Butte County Sheriff’s Office said that these arrests were made in three locations — Chico, Paradise and Butte Creek Canyon — all under mandatory evacuation due to the raging Camp Fire.
Officers on patrol in Chico on Tuesday spotted a motorhome that had been reported stolen in the nearby town of Magalia. Police said the vehicle was being driven, without a key in the “damaged” ignition, by Shayne Tinnel Jr., 22, who was accompanied by 42-year-old Tracy Sizer. The pair was arrested and charged with vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, and looting.
On the same day, police said 27-year-old Teddy King and John Brown, 38, were arrested in Paradise, which had been completely leveled by the blaze. The pair were found with a laptop that did not belong to them, in addition to a ski mask, drugs, and drug paraphernalia, the sheriff’s office said.
King and Brown were both arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia and booked into the Butte County Jail.
Officers on patrol in Butte Creek Canyon were approached by an employee from Pacific Gas & Electric who spotted two men in the area he believed were looting. Deputies later found Jason Burns, 41, and Michael Salisbury, 48, hiding in the bedroom of a home that belonged to a relative of Burns.
The sheriff’s office said that the pair were found with a handgun, methamphetamines, heroin, drug paraphernalia and loaded magazines for the firearm.
Inside the garage of the home, police said they located an AR-15 rifle, in addition to several chainsaws and other tools suspected to be stolen. Outside the home was an ATV that was also reported stolen, the sheriff’s office said.
The pair were arrested and booked into Butte County Jail, where they are facing multiple weapons and controlled substance charges. An investigation into the stolen property recovered at the home is “ongoing,” officials said.
In two of those three arrests, weapons and ammunition were recovered. We are extremely fortunate that those stories ended the way they did and not with additional emergency responders being shot and killed or wounded.
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If Brown is looking for someone to blame, he might also want to look at the Missouri man who police say is to blame for starting wildfires in California.
Police say that at the end of September, 68-year-old Freddie Graham hopped on a flight from Missouri to San Jose. They say he rented a car, then spent the next two days starting fires as he drove the “narrow, windy roads” between Ed Levin Park and the Calaveras Reservoir in the foothills near San Jose.
Deputy District Attorney Bud Porter said Graham would light pieces of paper on fire and toss them out of his window has he drove. They believe he’s responsible for setting at least 13 fires, which collectively became referred to as the Reservoir Fire.
That fire took days to put out, burning more than 128 acres. Luckily no injuries or damaged buildings were reported.
Police thank a witness for coming forward. They say the person noticed his rental car near the blazes and took note of the license plate.
“But for that Good Samaritan coming forward with the license plate, this crime probably would never have been solved,” Porter said.
They arrested Graham while he was trying to return his rental car at the San Jose airport. They say he was actually in Milpitas for his 50th high school reunion, which he went to Saturday evening after allegedly setting the fires.
Investigators say that after he was arrested, Graham told them he and his wife had planned to drive along Calaveras Road near the reservoir together before her death in 2018.
A report by investigators reads:
“Because she passed away and could not be with him, it made him emotional, starting the fires.”
Based on what happened, he’s charged with a number of offenses including 13 felony counts of arson of brushland, as well as two charges related to committing arson during a state of emergency. On those charges alone, he faces up to 22 years in prison. His bail is currently set at $2 million.
But it’s not his first arson charge.
Police say he already faced a felony arson charge in his home state of Missouri.
According to the Kansas City Star, prosecutors in Missouri say Graham was angry at a company for not hiring him. So they say he used a lighter to set its hay truck on fire in August 2018 near his home outside Kansas City.
As a result, he entered into a “diversion program” earlier this year.
That program provides treatment and other services for lower-level offenders. Now he’s being kicked out of the program, according to Jackson County, Missouri, prosecutor’s office spokesman Mike Mansur. They’re terminating him from the program as a result of the new California charges.