Friday, July 05, 2013

America, 2013

Nothing sums up modern economic America than this:
Without question they were heroes, the 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Like Smokejumpers in the Forest Service, the Hotshots routinely put themselves on the flank of a fire where no one else will go. If you live in the West, you know them as graduate students or mountain bikers — your neighbors who put on a yellow shirt and 40 pounds of gear to save the place you love.

But as to the question, the why of their deaths: every homeowner in the arid lands owes these fallen men an answer. More than ever, wild land firefighters die for people’s summer homes and year-round retreats. They die protecting property, kitchen views, dreams cast in stucco and timber.

And so it was in Yarnell, Ariz., on Sunday: the Hotshots were sent to the advance guard of a tricky fire in order to protect a former gold-mining community that had become a haven for retirees. After an evacuation order, most of the homes were empty. They were just fuel at that point.

Sunday’s fatal toll from the Yarnell Hill fire in Arizona was the greatest loss of firefighter lives in the United States since Sept. 11. But those who died in New York that terrible day were not rushing into a building in order to protect property — they were trying to save lives.


Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of those comfortable retirees will submit inflated insurance claims, double-dip with government disaster funds, brag later that they built an even better place, continue to bitch about how their taxes are too high and vote for GOPers.

Anonymous said...

It costs a ton more in taxpayer dollars (per house) to defend from fire homes scattered out in the wilderness versus a subdivision in town. Yet these are the people who bitch the loudest about their taxes and what self-reliant Randian superheroes they are.

pansypoo said...

when has the 2% ever paid? oh, yeah, france. 1790.

tom said...

Yes, Firefighters, police, teachers all parasites as per the thoughtless and now add less and uneducated Mr. Limbaugh

Totally agree w/the comment that those same folk hate paying taxes for anything....but want all the services a modern first world country can offer