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Double Standards

Dear Prescribed Burn Permitting Agency Representatives, I am writing to request an LE-5 permit to burn several large timber slash piles outside of Castella at 5,500 feet of elevation. A timber company and neighboring landowner have sought my services as a qualified RXB2 to help reduce these fuels for the public health, safety and welfare of local communities. I have informed the timber company seeking my services via a written estimate and series of text messages that cost of the burn will depend on permit conditions from the issuing agency. These piles are in state jurisdiction under federal DPA (Direct Protection Authority) along the edge of Siskiyou and Shasta-Trinity units. At this point, I have had a handful of phone conversations with Battalions at both Calfire and the US Forest Service in an effort to do my due diligence and cover my bases. I have been told conflicting reasons why a permit cannot be issued, including “the fuel type is not agricultural,” and that burn restriction exemptions require that the burn meet a state “public health, safety and public welfare” standard that this one does not. If burning logging slash piles adjacent to a resident doesn’t meet that standard, I must ask why, and request a detailed written response. Is the neighboring resident less important than other residents? This burn plan with behave runs should be the only thing that determines approval or denial of request. As long as Burn Boss or landowner meets that requirement, it should be acceptable. What policy or matrix of elements do we use as a standard? We have a double standard, LE-5 based on fuel type. I have burned with a LE-5 many times in the last few years with restrictions, and response resources as contingency. I was a part of the initial attack on the Slater Fire in 2020 where winds pushed fire out in all directions, causing embers to light in unburned piles that were the responsibility of the Forest Service to burn. “What’s the hurry?” your people have asked me. Exactly that type of response and lack of initiative to burn when we’re not in the thick of burn season is what has gotten us to this point where fires are so extreme. Those unburned piles during Slater, mind you, were run of the mill piles, so imagine how these slash piles might burn later in the year if left unburned now. I have seen first-hand over the course of my career what fuels left behind from logging can do to fire behavior. It’s not pretty. My timeline spent chasing rabbits : 5-17-22 Called AQ to request AQP, told to first talk to Cal Fire Called SHU for LE-5 Permit, told to first get AQP 5-18-2022 Was told by Cal Fire that this fell within Fed DPA, they would need to inspect burn area. 5-18-2022 Called SHNF, for inspection and LE-5, After teaching the person who first answered my call about the land trade protection Agreement. Battalion called me back, stating we would send a patrol up to inspect. 5-24-2022 Patrol inspects and states to the landowner that this should be Calfire doing this due to being private land. FS Patrol stated with control lines refreshed and conference with Calfire one would be issued at Calfire advise. Calfire stated they would not issue due to burn restrictions and this not being recognized as an Ag burn, based on Section 4423.1. Same day, the same unit issues press release of a burn ignitions training they them self are doing. See the runaround and double standard? The permitting was a way to still be successful burn but seems to be a just another barrier. Please remember that a non-response is a written response of sorts as well. Looking forward to your articulated rationale for your decision on my permit request. Thank you,

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