Orange County RegisterÃ‚Â
Fire again threatens Silverado Canyon
Deputies trying to evacuate any holdouts.
The Santiago fire dipped into the bottom of Silverado Canyon late Friday and is predicted to reach houses by Saturday afternoon, fire officials said.
Late tonight Orange County and Los Angeles city firefighting teams set up lookouts on opposing ridges, watching the progression of fire fuel supply and weather around the clock. Far below in Silverado Canyon, firefighters leaned against engines and watched as flames leapt 75 feet in the air, crackling and roaring, around them into the night. Read More.
Pols, voters said no to fire funds
Firefighters’ 2005 effort to fund new equipment was defeated 3-1
Two of the Orange County politicians now complaining about the lack of air support for the Santiago Fire opposed firefighters’ effort to purchase new helicopters and trucks two years ago.
In fact, county officials today are sitting on more than $80 million in excess revenue from a statewide public safety sales tax adopted 13 years ago.
That surplus has been a longstanding sore spot for OC firefighters, who at times this week were so overwhelmed they had to seek refuge inside fire retardant tents.
The firefighter’s 2005 ballot initiative would have redirected a small portion of the Ã‚Â½ cent sales tax, providing $8 million for new helicopters and $33 million for new fire trucks.
But the entire Board of Supervisors, the sheriff and district attorney opposed the measure, saying it was an attempt to pick the pocket of county law enforcement. County voters rejected the initiative, with 73 percent voting no. Read More.
FromÃ‚Â LA Times Staff Writers
FEMA blasted for ‘news’ conference
Agency employees, not reporters, asked questions at the event. Homeland Security calls the lapse ‘offensive and inexcusable.’
By Jordy Yager, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 27, 2007, WASHINGTON Ã¢â‚¬â€ No one had any hard questions for the deputy administrator of FEMA, an agency deeply tarnished by its delayed action after Hurricane Katrina, when he held a news conference Tuesday to talk about the California wildfires.
“Are you happy with FEMA’s response so far?” someone asked.
Indeed, the deputy administrator was. “I am very happy with FEMA’s response so far,” responded Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson Jr.
The news conference looked like a success in the Bush administration’s effort this week to demonstrate it could respond competently to a disaster.
On Friday, however, the agency admitted that the softball questions were posed by FEMA. Read More.