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The Wildfire(s) This Time

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Pashilk's Face Book Page.

Pashilk’s Face Book Page.

COMMENT: With an “El Nino” winter, producing lush undergrowth, followed by a “La Nina” fall, manifesting high temperatures, the drought-stressed California landscape has been poised for, and is experiencing, a very bad fire season. Exacerbating this has been the fact that some of the fires have been deliberately set. 

Among the firs set was the Clayton fire, allegedly set by one Damin Pahilk. Having spent time in prison for a variety of offenses, Pashilk displayed Nazi/SS iconography.

We note in passing that Smokey the Bear was a civil defense icon created by the U.S. government during World War II to alert the public to the Axis tactic of starting wildfires in order to bleed American wartime resources.

Some thoughts:

  • Might Pashilk have come under the influence of a Nazi/Aryan prison gang while serving his sentences?
  • Might we be seeing a manifestation of “leaderless resistance”? 
  • Certainly, burning down significant parts of America’s wilderness will drain valuable resources. Is this a goal of “leaderless resistance wildfires,” to coin a term?

SmokeyDishesIt“Victims of Clayton Fire Stare Down Suspected Arsonist in Court” by Evan Sernoffsky and Kevin Fagan; The San Francisco Chronicle; 8/17/2016.

. . . . A 40-year-old ex-con spent the last two fire seasons roaming this drought-baked county, setting small blazes that never managed to spread much before he finally lit a monster — last weekend’s inferno that ripped through Lower Lake and turned scores of homes into ash, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Damin Pashilk of Clearlake was arraigned at the county courthouse here Wednesday afternoon on felony arson charges accusing him of lighting 12 fires and trying to set a 13th, plus four more counts related to methamphetamine violations and driving on a suspended license. The fires all occurred between July 2, 2015, and Saturday, when he allegedly sparked the devastating Clayton Fire. . . .

. . . . Pashilk lived in a trailer in Clearlake, a bigger town north of historic Lower Lake, and though one neighbor said “sometimes he gets a little intimidating,” most said they were shocked he could be suspected of setting a fire that decimated much of a community. A cart at Pashilk’s home was painted with Nazi SS lightning bolts, and his profanity-laced Facebook page sported the same symbol. . . .

“A Quick History of Smokey the Bear” by Steve Nix; forestry.about.com.

Smokey Bear came to us by necessity. At the beginning of World War II, Americans feared that an enemy attack or sabotage could destroy our forest resources at a time when wood products were greatly needed. Time was ripe for a Smokey Bear icon.

In the spring of 1942 a Japanese submarine fired shells onto an oil field in Southern California near Los Padres National Forest. Government officials were relieved that the shelling did not start a forest fire but were determined to provide protection.

The USDA Forest Service organized the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention (CFFP) Program in 1942. It encouraged citizens nationwide to make a personal effort to prevent forest fires. It was a mobilized civilian effort in support of the war effort to protect valuable trees. Timber was a primary commodity for battleships, gunstocks, and packing crates for military transport. Smokey Bear was created as the symbol for wildfire prevention but with a war-time incentive. . . .

. . . . On August 2, 1944, the Forest Service and the War Advertising Council introduced the smokey bear character as their campaign symbol. . . .

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