Friday, October 26, 2007

Red Tape Tangles Airborne Firefighting Efforts

State and federal red tape kept firefighting helicopters and C-130s grounded in the early days of the California fires. Two C-130s never joined the fight because they were never equipped with the firefighting equipment they were supposed to get four years ago.
"The weight of bureaucracy kept these planes from flying, not the heavy winds. When you look at what's happened, it's disgusting, inexcusable foot-dragging that's put tens of thousands of people in danger." -- Rep Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) in an interview with the Associated Press.

Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) says the planes and copters were grounded because of wind conditions. But state law requires a State Forestry officer aboard all federal aircraft fighting fires -- something Rep Rohrabacher zeroed in on. (AP)

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