A Letter to CDF: Why San Diego Burned

While the recent devastating fires in San Diego were beyond belief in themselves, what is more incredible is the CDFs part in the proliferation of these fires.

I'm not referencing any sources in my claims, however, I do believe that the following statements are entirely true based on news reports, anecdotal evidence, and my own observations. Additionally, all my criticisms are limited to the Cedar Fire, though I'm sure much of the same CDF neglect and counter-productivity can be referenced in the various other fires that raged throughout the state recently.

CDF negligence began at the very start of the blaze. Adhering to a regulation undoubtedly written by a bunch of bureaucrats with no real understanding of the possible scope and relevance of a truly disastrous fire, the CDF called back fire-fighting efforts during the early stage of the Cedar Fire and let it burn unopposed for nearly 12 hours.

During the following critical hours, the CDF continued to shutdown firefighting efforts. While military equipment from nearby naval bases was promptly deployed, they were prevented from fighting the fire by the CDF until they demonstrated their ability to fight fires. By the time these craft were finally deployed, many acres of dry land had been heavily saturated by "dry runs", and the Cedar Fire had done the worst of its damage.

Residents who remained up in Crest during the fire report CDF fire trucks parked alongside burning homes "observing the fire". Apparently the CDF "doesn't do" residential structures.

As the fire finally came under control, the CDF found itself the focal point of public criticism. Instead of taking responsibility for actions that resulted in the spread of the fire and so much unnecessary devastation and loss, the CDF cited rules and regulations that they followed and claimed that they had done a wonderful job.

Well, if this is what the CDF considers a wonderful job, there's only one conclusion that any California property owner can come to: the CDF needs to be dismantled and either rebuilt by those interested in the preservation of human life and property or simply left shut down altogether.

Why is the CDF so uninterested in protecting human life and property? I'm not so sure, but I'd suspect it starts at the CDF's highest post: Andrea E. Tuttle. Andrea is a an appointee of our recalled governor Gray Davis. She has "extensive background in environmental conservation" and no experience whatever in firefighting. So as long as she's protecting the fuel that these San Diego fires feed on every 10 years or so, nobody in San Diego is safe.

Don't bother referring to the CDF news release page for additional information. Instead of addressing their roll in California's worst fire disaster in recorded history, they cover such topics as "Change Your Clocks/Change Your Smoke Detector Batteries This Weekend" and "Time For Halloween Safety".

I'm sickened by CDF's role in this recent disaster. I deeply believe that they are directly responsible for a significant portion of the devastation that resulted. Had the CDF thrown the rule-book out the window, the Cedar Fire would have likely been contained in the first 12 hours and not had any chance to ravage homes and lives as it did.


As a San Diego resident for my entire life, I have also seen the damage and devistation that the recent fires have caused. I also know that the reason the military was unable to help was because they were inadequately trained to do so. I also know that many of our resources were out of our area during the first critical days. I also know that outside resources from other counties and states were deployed as soon as possible. CDF had other fires going on at the same time and before the Cedar fire began. I also know that some of the firefighters that were "observing the fires" did not all have fire hoses and were fighting the fires with nothing more than shovels and hoes because other resources were not available. I do not believe that your property nor the property of anyone else is worth someone's life. If you do not feel the same way, then you do not understand the role of the fire department. After all, life is more valuable than property. Unless you have walked a mile in a firefighter's shoes, or at least gotten your facts straight, this type of completely biased and uninformed article has no buisness anywhere.

Well, I do appreciate your opinion, but by neglecting to address the things that weren't done to prevent this disaster, we will allow it to happen again and again every 8 years or so.

There are rules and regulations that the Fire departments and particularly the CDF follow. In accordance with all those rules and regulations, half my community burned to the ground. And rules and regulations that contribute to the magnitude of a disaster such as this fire need to be undone. The CDF continues to take no responsibility for allowing this fire to get out of control. With all of their arrogance and rule books, they firmly believe that they did their job. In fact, the CDF is more interested in protecting weeds than allowing landowners to protect their own properties. They are more interested in protecting obscure species that are dying a natural evolutionary death than human lives.

The East County fire departments are left handicapped by a city council that denies them funds that voters gave to them and by political interests in the richer areas of San Diego.

You say the military is not "trained" to put out fires? Well, judging from the footage of military choppers dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of water near freeways as they attempted to demonstrate their qualifications to CDF minions, I'd say they can drop water with the best of them. Heck, I'd even venture to say that military pilots might actually be a bit more qualified at flying through dangerous situations than anyone the CDF has to offer. Your argument is laughable.

As long as the CDF exists and as long as poloticians continue to lie to voters and shuffle around monies to suit their interests, fire susceptible communities like San Diego will continue to suffer entirely unneccessary amounts of destruction each time Mother Nature decides it's time for a little house cleaning.

San Diego will burn to the ground again in another 8 years. Nothing will have changed. The CDF will have its brush rigs parked idle next to burning houses. CDF bureau-rats will wave rule books and deny any responsibility. Nothing will change.