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Fake news and distrustful disaster governance

Why is nobody checking the news on apolitical issues? It seems that there has been a great deal of smoke protection lately when it comes to natural disasters. We are constantly told that such events are the “worst” in history. We recently saw Hurricane Harvey flood the Houston, TX area. They told us it was the worst hurricane damage ever. Is not it. They told us that such a flood in this region was unprecedented, wasn’t it? Houston has major flooding events at least twice a decade. Yes, this was the worst in years, but hardly the worst in history – only flooded more people.

Already the next week there was a big bush fire (called La Tuna Fire) in LA County near Burbank and Glendale, California. It burned more than 7,000 acres. He told us it was the biggest fire in LA County history – he looked straight at the television cameras with a straight face and told a bold lie. It was nowhere near the worst devastating fire, brush fire, or the greatest damage to property or costly. Not even close.

For example, the Topanga fire burned 24,175 acres from September 28 to October 6, 2005; or the station fire from August 26, 2009 to October 16, 2009, in which 160,577 acres were burned down and we lost 209 buildings and there were 2 deaths. The Springs Fire, which started in Ventura County on May 2, 2013, burned 24,000 acres, of which more than 8,000 acres were in LA County.

And mind you, these are fires that were not so long ago. In fact, there is still fear of brush burns on the trails. You can see when you go hiking. A burned-out brush still smears charcoal on your legs, if you run against it, trust me, I’m an avid trail runner and often come back from fires with black stripes on my legs almost a decade ago. In fact, the firefighters at La Tuna Fire actually received a rainstorm that put the fire down considerably and was extinguished completely in a short amount of time.

Why all the wrong news? I believe that politicians can call “devastation” to bring more federal and state funds from disaster relief funds to the region. In this way, they can trigger more support from the federal government to pay support for air tankers and increase in size if they run for the governor or try to be re-elected mayor. Regardless of why, they know that they are not telling the truth and think “we”, the citizens, are so stupid and have memories so short that we do not know the difference or that we are fooled because of the media Repeat the lie over and over again.

“Where are the fact checkers?” I dare to ask? Why do fire chiefs, police chiefs and public administrators stand side by side with these politicians and remain silent, they know the truth, it took decades to become department heads – could they become department heads by keeping up with the flow and the Lie in the trade for high paying jobs, pensions and benefits? Terrifying thought, especially given this trend.

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