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I thought Cal Fire is paid to protect the state from wildfires in the state and maybe even for mutual aid.
If the money budgeted by the state of California to Cal Fire covers administration, equipment education and suppression, why are fires put out by Cal Fire in the State Responsibility Area charged to the owner? I can understand a fine for not following the regulations. I cannot understand the huge amount of salaries for men and equipment on standby to be prepared to go and fight a fire but not paid to put it out. I would think that since they are being paid to be ready, that the money would include the actual act of suppression.
Am I missing something in the article regarding Ray Nutting’s fire charges? The fire stayed on his property. A fine for breaking the rules would seem appropriate, but charging for putting out a fire on the owners land when Cal Fire is already paid for the job just brings up a big question of who makes the decision of when and who to charge and under what circumstances. How did the process get convoluted to include preparedness but not suppression? Mix this in with the SRA tax for prevention but not for protection and it really gets confusing trying to figure out.
I totally support the firefighters out on the line doing the hard work. I even put my time in doing that job. I just can’t help but question the decision process: 1) in establishing the State Responsibility Tax of $150 per dwelling unit in the State Responsibility Area for prevention and 2) in charging homeowners for suppression of fires on their own land.