Review shows what went wrong with Utah's Pole Creek, Bald Mountain fires

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    June 11, 2019 10:55 a.m.


    Where's the accountability for building a home on a mountainside? These forests burn, and probably should burn regularly to be healthy. Why do you live in a forest that burns regularly?

  • RockOn1224 Spanish Fork, UT
    June 7, 2019 7:23 p.m.

    Kralon wrote:
    "Nice to see analysis based on improvement rather than blame. Everyone makes mistakes, in every organization."

    Superficial analysis. No attempt to address the environmentalist's efforts to stop the forest service from having about 1/4 of all trees that died from the Japanese beetles to be the perfect kindling for power a terrible fire like we had.

    No one held responsible. Yes, everyone makes mistakes but outside of government, we PAY for our mistakes and someone who is competent takes our place. In government they just get promoted.

    Terrible fire. Terrible mismanagement. No accountability. No change in store.

  • RockOn1224 Spanish Fork, UT
    June 7, 2019 7:16 p.m.

    Here's your guide to bureaucratic language:
    1. We didn't know what we were doing.
    2. We didn't know how to speak to each other in coherent language.
    3. We blame mother nature for being so irrational. Environmental activism is peachy keen and letting the forest work out things naturally is what should happen.
    4. It's not our fault. No one did anything wrong; stuff happens.

    Remember how citizens were asking at the time of the fire for accountability and the "leaders" said, "Now is not the time to cast blame but to come together." Ok. We did our part. You haven't done yours.

    And so the promised serious discussion ended in bureaucratic gobbleygook. No one's job threatened, just homes.

  • MadChemist Woodland Hills, UT
    June 7, 2019 8:50 a.m.

    I was one of the thousands of people forced out of their homes. We attended town meetings and updates during the fire when we didn't know whether we would have homes any more, and now I'm reading reports after the fact. In everything I've read and heard, can you guess the one thing that's missing? I have yet to hear a single person responsible for the decisions to let these fires burn take any accountability for it. Absolutely no one has been willing to say, "We screwed up." Instead, we get expressions of surprise about what happened, as if fires aren't supposed to do these things--you'd think they'd never done this before. It would be refreshing almost beyond belief to hear someone, anyone, accept some responsibility. I get angry again just reading about it.

  • MadChemist Woodland Hills, UT
    June 7, 2019 8:10 a.m.

    "...a weather and fuel scenario that no one had ever seen before..."? I would be interested in seeing that backed up. We had exceptionally dry conditions, and it doesn't seem like it would be hard to anticipate the fires getting out of control if it got windy. Many millions of dollars and man-hours were spent, at great risk to life and property, when these fires could almost have been put out with buckets if addressed earlier. Badly done.

    June 6, 2019 5:55 p.m.

    Nice to see analysis based on improvement rather than blame. Everyone makes mistakes, in every organization. Learning from those mistakes and improving future performance should be the focus for all organizations. Those who made mistakes are often the best performers afterwards when proactive, positive coaching takes place.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    June 6, 2019 4:30 p.m.

    The bullet points given are generalities., which do not encourage serious action to be taken. I hope the full report has specifics which can suggest specific action to be taken. To take one point : allowing a fire to burn for a week, apparently without any action being taken is being derelict; no one can accurately tell what the winds will be for a certainty for that length of time; and a fire will dry out the adjacent brush and trees. Is there a clearly defined authority who makes decisions on state or federal lands ? Do these authorities get pertinent information in a timely manner ? Really ? How ? The article leaves these questions in doubt.

  • Justmythoughts Provo, UT
    June 6, 2019 3:18 p.m.

    It seems like 9 of every 10 "controlled burn" fires get out of control.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    June 6, 2019 2:31 p.m.

    Bungling incompetence. People in charge should be fired. These fires were reported early on, and no action was taken. City and state agencies offered help as the fires grew, and they were turned away. Record drought conditions and wind in the forecast, and yet, they let the fires burn until it became a disaster. Decision makers in this case should be dismissed from their employment for total failure.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 6, 2019 2:02 p.m.

    This sounds like 1 big happy party. No accountability, no blame. People dropped the ball and allowed these small fire to turn into monsters. Plus, they sure came up with new excuses.