FWC now using scorched Earth policy...

SAENoleSAENole Posts: 10,285 AG
http://www.mypanhandle.com/news/prescribed-burn-caused-eastpoint-blaze/1267518155

Someone should be in trouble over this.

Eastpoint, Fla. - A prescribed burn conducted by Wildland Fire Services, Inc. on behalf of Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission caused the wildfire in Eastpoint that burned more than 800 acres and destroyed 36 homes, state officials admitted Wednesday.

“My heart goes out to those affected by this devastating wildfire, and I thank all of our partners in the response effort to stop the spread of the fire,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. 

The Florida Forest Service led response efforts to contain and extinguish the wildfire with assistance from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Eastpoint Volunteer Fire Department, and other local fire departments.

During the course of the investigation, other possible causes, such as lightning, arson, and fire accidentally caused by man, were eliminated.

Hours before the cause of the blaze was released FWC officials announced they were suspending prescribed burns statewide. 

“At FWC, safety is always our top priority," said Executive Director Eric Sutton. "Due to the proximity of last week’s prescribed fire to the Limerock Wildfire that caused severe damage, we have launched an investigation and will completely review all policies and procedures with prescribed fires. If the multiple ongoing investigations find that any safety protocols were not followed, we will take the proper steps to ensure accountability. Our focus remains with the families who were affected by the wildfire and our agency is committed to working to help this community get back on its feet.”



Warning Level 2
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Replies

  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 11,254 AG
    That lawsuit is gonna hurt.

    In fairness, your title is quite a mischaracterization.
  • SAENoleSAENole Posts: 10,285 AG
    I'm channeling my inner mainstream media.  
    Warning Level 2
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,346 AG
    If the prescribed fire was conducted per approved prescription, a rigorous investigation will figure this out, then no one will be liable for anything. 

    If the burn contracter deviated from their prescription they may be held liable and someone's insurance will pay.

    If it was an " act of god " weather event and the prescription was followed then no one is liable.

    Florida is a "right to burn" state. 
    133cbf2b243368b1ddb2f591a1988076--beach-posters-florida-travel.jpg
  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 12,596 AG

    Cycle- So you are saying if the prescribed fire on the tract allowed/permitted to burn got away from the contractor and burned up all of those houses nobody will be held liable?? I find that hard to believe.

    They won't give us a permit with 15 mph winds. It has been howling down that way for weeks.

    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,346 AG
    micci_man said:

    Cycle- So you are saying if the prescribed fire on the tract allowed/permitted to burn got away from the contractor and burned up all of those houses nobody will be held liable?? I find that hard to believe.

    They won't give us a permit with 15 mph winds. It has been howling down that way for weeks.

    If the approved prescribed fire plan was good, had the appropriate man power, good accurate weather prediction, technically sound, etc. And was followed to the t, and the escaped fire was due to an unexpected fluke weather event, then no liability. But lawsuits will happen for sure.
    133cbf2b243368b1ddb2f591a1988076--beach-posters-florida-travel.jpg
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 11,254 AG
    edited June 27 #7
    Most insurance policies have force majeure terms, and I would expect this is no different.

    The legal question, I expect, will be around if those terms apply or not.

    It's not like a tornado touched down or a hurricane blew it up, but perhaps there are details none of us are aware of.

    Based on what we know so far, I will wager that people get paid outside of just insurance and someone will be held liable. 

     
  • mustang190mustang190 Posts: 10,104 AG
    The “contractor “ was Florida Forestry Division. 
    2013 Pathfinder 22 TE , 150 Yamaha,
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 7,143 Admiral
    Gubment gonna gubment.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • mindyabinessmindyabiness Posts: 4,133 Captain
    As a tax payer....I have no doubt that I am going to pay for this.
    The poor judgement of the people who started this fire is absolutely heinous...culpable.
    This is absolute negligence, the fire did not have to occur in the first place. If the conditions were in any way questionable....there is no reason to start this fire. The state started this fire, as soon as the first match was struck... you assumed liability.
    Just another example of lazy, entitled, incompetent, government employees that I have to pay everyday for nothing....screw-ups. our state is riddled with them.
    Accountability? 36 homes were destroyed.....I say fire everybody!
    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to crap on the board and strut around like it won anyway.
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,346 AG
    edited June 28 #11
    As a tax payer....I have no doubt that I am going to pay for this.
    The poor judgement of the people who started this fire is absolutely heinous...culpable.
    This is absolute negligence, the fire did not have to occur in the first place. If the conditions were in any way questionable....there is no reason to start this fire. The state started this fire, as soon as the first match was struck... you assumed liability.
    Just another example of lazy, entitled, incompetent, government employees that I have to pay everyday for nothing....screw-ups. our state is riddled with them.
    Accountability? 36 homes were destroyed.....I say fire everybody!
    You don't know what you are talking about. It wasn't Florida Forestry it was a private contractor and they haven't determined what happened. Prescribed fire is critical to the health of Florida ecosystems.  People who move into fire habitat way out in suburbia and created urban wildland fire interfaces are a problem for land managers. Especially when their homes and yards are not firewise designs.

    I can't find any detailed info on the fire. There will be an incident report.

    133cbf2b243368b1ddb2f591a1988076--beach-posters-florida-travel.jpg
  • mplspugmplspug Palmetto FloridaPosts: 7,143 Admiral
    Fight fire with fire is what I always say.

    Captain Todd Approves

  • mustang190mustang190 Posts: 10,104 AG
    A lot of property owners do not keep their land (especially fence lines) cleared. 
    2013 Pathfinder 22 TE , 150 Yamaha,
  • HomerSimpsonHomerSimpson Posts: 6,532 Admiral
    i was wondering about the liability as well.

    the private companies doing the burning still have to get permission from  the Florida Forest Service.  And the Forest Service is the one that comes in and digs the burn lines around the property.  

    Right or wrong, but it seems that would give the private company some liability protection.

    of course that's assuming the private company did what they were suppose to do.
  • ferris1248ferris1248 Posts: 2,414 Moderator
    You would have to think that if the private company was hired by the state, there are certain insurance requirements to be met. 

    ." why would someone want to be a moderator in the first place?"

    "There is no compensation for that task other than the satisfaction one might get from being an ***."

    mindyabizness

    "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole of the law. The rest is commentary."

    Rabbi Hillel (c20 BCE)

  • HomerSimpsonHomerSimpson Posts: 6,532 Admiral
    insurance policies yes.  So certain liability

    but are their limits to their liability if the Forest Services gives the ok?
  • ferris1248ferris1248 Posts: 2,414 Moderator
    Good question but the contractor always has the right to call off the operation if danger exists. If the contractor has something to the effect saying the state said go ahead, over the stated objections of the contractor, then the contractor may have an out.

    I would guess, after much handwringing and several years of legal arguments whilst the lawyers rack up hours, the people displaced will receive some pittance compared to the value they lost.

    ." why would someone want to be a moderator in the first place?"

    "There is no compensation for that task other than the satisfaction one might get from being an ***."

    mindyabizness

    "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole of the law. The rest is commentary."

    Rabbi Hillel (c20 BCE)

  • HomerSimpsonHomerSimpson Posts: 6,532 Admiral
    private land owners are contracting out to private timber companies all over the place around here to burn their property.  I know the Forest service is involved, they are the ones to plow the lines.  But I've always wondered what happens when a fire crosses those lines.

    really kind-of scary when you see some of the employees who are doing the work.
  • SAENoleSAENole Posts: 10,285 AG
    I wonder how many black bears were displaced by this carelessness.

    There's quite a large population around the Eastpoint area.  
    Warning Level 2
  • ScoutboatScoutboat Posts: 1,922 Captain
    "Controlled" burns get out of control quite often here in Florida.
    In this case, special precautions should have been followed due to the density of residences in the area.
    Of course, this is all hindsight.
  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 12,596 AG

    I think Bodine summed it up best. Now way in H E L L these folks that can prove they had a loss won't get paid by someone.

    "I am not familiar with the company that did the burns, but I am sure the state requires them to carry a good bit of liability insurance, the state will pick up the rest of the bill. All those folks will end up with new homes, better than what they had and all belongings replaced.
    They will however be inconvenienced for a period of time.
    High pressure and dependable winds are your friend, not June thunderboomer season.
    Like Wrunner said, must have been a bunch of fuel on the ground."
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • mindyabinessmindyabiness Posts: 4,133 Captain
    Cyclist said:
    As a tax payer....I have no doubt that I am going to pay for this.
    The poor judgement of the people who started this fire is absolutely heinous...culpable.
    This is absolute negligence, the fire did not have to occur in the first place. If the conditions were in any way questionable....there is no reason to start this fire. The state started this fire, as soon as the first match was struck... you assumed liability.
    Just another example of lazy, entitled, incompetent, government employees that I have to pay everyday for nothing....screw-ups. our state is riddled with them.
    Accountability? 36 homes were destroyed.....I say fire everybody!
    You don't know what you are talking about. It wasn't Florida Forestry it was a private contractor and they haven't determined what happened. Prescribed fire is critical to the health of Florida ecosystems.  People who move into fire habitat way out in suburbia and created urban wildland fire interfaces are a problem for land managers. Especially when their homes and yards are not firewise designs.

    I can't find any detailed info on the fire. There will be an incident report.

    Read what I wrote again, and while doing this .....pretend you are very intelligent. See if you don't come away with a different assertion.
    You work in the public sector...don't you?
    I realize that regardless of the the level,  you cannot be held accountable as you don't own anything your involved in, you just do as you are told and if it gets complicated you hire a contractor..... all at the taxpayers expense. And if the decisions you have to make present a threat to your future employment. You put it to a vote, that way it's not your fault if things go awry.
    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to crap on the board and strut around like it won anyway.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 11,254 AG
    I read it again.

    Demanding we "fire everybody" based on preliminary reports suggest that it's not Cyclist's intelligence, but rather your hasty conclusion, that is found lacking.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 1,765 Captain
    edited June 30 #24
    I agree with Cyclist's analysis as to how the law actually works in these circumstances.

    That doesn't mean a lawsuit won't happen or that the State won't settle even if it turns out the parties didn't do anything negligent. Governments often settle frivolous lawsuits for PR reasons and for the convenience of making it go away. School boards especially are terrible about throwing money at lawsuits from parents even though they could probably duke it out and defeat the suit. And especially in a case like this where citizens lost their homes. 

  • MelbourneMarkMelbourneMark Posts: 1,701 Captain
    ~15 years ago same thing happened by I4, west of Disney.  My hunt property was nearby.  I had some stands destroyed by fire.  A few deaths occurred on I4 due to smoke/accidents.  Very sad. 

    Prescribed burns are necassary, but can be deadly. 
  • mustang190mustang190 Posts: 10,104 AG
    Thus the reason most of Florida was considered uninhabitable until the invention of pesticides and air conditioning. 
    2013 Pathfinder 22 TE , 150 Yamaha,
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 5,795 Admiral
    So if Joe smoe   has a yard full of junk and bushes growing right up to his bedroom window we're not suppose to do a controlled burn..?
    It's for the good of all to do them.
    What if a lighting strike started the fire and he lost his 1988 Chevy with the blown motor and a boat that hasn't been on the water for 20 years.
    Us Folks here in Wildfire Country know to keep a safety zone clear around our house.
    Just cause you live in a plywood shack with a yard full of junk and dead fire starter don't come crying to us.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • ScoutboatScoutboat Posts: 1,922 Captain
    Controlled burns go out of control regularly, whether from lack of planning or unforeseen winds.
    Whatever: Mainly, they're beneficial, removing dry ground cover and stimulating new growth. 
  • mindyabinessmindyabiness Posts: 4,133 Captain
    edited July 2 #29
    Beneficial.....
    tell that ito the people who are camping in the rain where thier house once was.
    Tell them they should feel good about all the new growth.


    Polous a shrimper and oysterman, lost 14 boats, his home and pickup trucks in the quick-moving conflagration Sunday that left behind a trail of ash and ruins in Eastpoint, just across the river from the historic town of Apalachicola.

    https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/06/29/493600.htm
    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to crap on the board and strut around like it won anyway.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 5,795 Admiral
    I never saw Polous yard before the fire  but I can already guess what it looked like...
    A little paying attention works well when you live right up next to the Forest.
    I had fires burn all around me last year..It was fine except for the smoke for weeks on end.
    You should see the woods now..looks like a fertilized Golf course...And no  Fuel Load to worry about.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,075 Admiral
    Scoutboat said:
    Controlled burns go out of control regularly, whether from lack of planning or unforeseen winds.
    Whatever: Mainly, they're beneficial, removing dry ground cover and stimulating new growth. 
    They rarely get out of control
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