Sunday, June 30, 2019

You Will Be Shocked at the Government Economics Behind Major Fires

The Shovel Creek Fire
Update below: More on the fire 

By Robert Wenzel

This "firefighting" story will give you an entirely new perspective on how government operatives can milk a situation for lucre. Government firefighting is a crony business.

There is a major fire burning near Fairbanks, Alaska, the Shovel Creek Fire.

It is now estimated that 3,424 acres have burned. More than 500 personnel are now battling the blaze.

But just how did this fire get out of control?

I spoke yesterday with Joshua Bennett who hosts Patriot’s Lament Radio, KFAR 660  in Fairbanks about the fire. Bennet is a hardcore anarcho-capitalist. His show is an awesome machine when it comes to converting people to libertarianism, so much so that if a libertarian revolution occurs, it just might start in Fairbanks. Which is to say he knows the deal, and what he told me about major fires based on what he knows about fires handled around Fairbanks is shocking.

He told me that the Shovel Creek Fire started out as a small 15-acre fire but that fires are moneymakers so you need a much larger fire to justify bringing in large quantities of men and equipment. "Many millions of dollars are involved," he told me and that government firefighters have no incentive to knock the fire down quickly.

"I saw air water tankers dump water from hundreds of yards to a half-mile away from the fire. That is no way to fight a fire. You need to dump the water on the flames," he said. He has video.

He said this Shovel Creek has gotten out of control even for the firefighters' desires but that in general, they do like fires.

"It's been known around here that fires are sometimes set to keep the firefighters working," he said.

He tells me that any possible way government money can be spent fighting a fire, it will be.

He said that if a fire is big enough, a staging area is set up where MREs (ready to eat food) is brought in on pallets but once the fire is put out, the MREs are not taken to another fire or taken back to storage. The pallets are all put in dumpsters to be hauled away as trash.

Bennett suspects this type of chicanery is not limited to Alaska.

You have to wonder then, Is Smokey the Bear just scam government propaganda?
But think the bigger picture here. Just how many "crises" can be milked or created for the benefit of those in government or close to it?

The only solution is to shrink government and let the private sector solve problems. With private sector solutions, you have people with skin in the game watching how operations are being conducted and how money is spent.



Joshua Bennett emails:

The fire has stepped up a new level today. Some evacuations have started. I had 3 more pieces of equipment ordered to the fire just in the last half hour.
I’m not happy they let it get out of control, but $12,000 a day fighting it will ease my pain some. Haha.

Thank you for you time and conversation yesterday. It was enlightening and an encouragement.


  1. This is second hand information, but I've heard some of the California fires are allowed to grow, and firefighters are ordered not to fight it, until it becomes large enough to be declared a disaster, get federal money, etc. Some of the guys in the firefighting program at my college would be so bored that they would comment about needing to start a fire or hoping a building would burn so they could get some action and look like heros. So I could easily see this as a contributor to magnifying the effects of wild fires.


  2. Private firefighters

    In the current era what Bennett asserts would not surprise me, but it’s an opinion. Let’s see some facts.

    Apparently private fire fighting is a fact:

    From the article:

    “Although local firefighters were also on scene, this homeowner credits his insurance company’s private firefighters for saving his house.”

    1. Fire fighting is nothing but a racket in wild. You cant depend on the govt backed brigade! Thats how private fire fighters became a thing.

  3. Yep. Firefighting is corrupt. The hotshots have the ability to see and put out spot fires but are not allowed to. It is about where the money to pay them comes from, and waiting for it to get out of control so government money flows in.
    I know from 2nd hand this happens. Firefighters asking permission to go put some wild fires out they see and would be put out in 5 minutes but they are flat out denied. They are told to wait until it becomes an emergency.