Human, computer errors add to Colorado’s wildfire disaster

16 thoughts on “Human, computer errors add to Colorado’s wildfire disaster”

  1. NBC TV did report that the fire was caused by a controlled burn getting out of hand, and that the authorities had apologized profusely.

    I fear that events like this will become even more common as extreme weather increases.

    1. I’m afraid you’re right. Grass fires in Oklahoma were always bad, but nothing compared to forest fires in the mountains. Conditions here are frightening.

    1. The destroyed homes have owners. The owners presumably have insurance. But the insurance companies will balk and try to get the state to pay. Colorado does not carry such insurance (the rationale has something to do with not spending taxpayers’ money on insurance that they could buy themselves). Frankly, I had trouble following the explanation, but the gist of it was that there is going to be quite a hassle. As for liability for the deaths of two, maybe three people, I don’t know how that works. The fire was not natural; a case can be made that it was carelessness or negligence on the part of some forest sevice workers. Surely the families of the dead are owed some compensation from someone.

      1. But PT, the government employees responsible for the misjudgment, the error or whatever you want to call it are merely the agents for the general public, and as such I assume they are not personally liable. Therefore, as Ima says, it wouldn’t be justice to make all pay for the goof. I think it is a case of s**t happens.

        Come to think of it, if you did have a law mandating that the state government pay for brushfire damage, it would be a lot like the EMTALA law as it relates to healthcare.

      2. No, I didn’t mean the individual workers would be liable. But wouldn’t their agency somehow be liable for damage for a fire they started? Oh well, I guess it’s like the deal where you can’t sue the federal government without their permission.

        Hey, you’re right. There is a sort of parallet with the EMTALA thing. Wait … well, I saw it there for a second.

      3. No, no, PT, you’re missing the point. The government doesn’t have any money of their own. None. They only have other people’s money. To say an agency is “liable” is equivalent to saying that every taxpayer in the state is “liable” for the error.

      4. I understand. I should have said the state is responsible. I’m just frustrated that they can cause so much damage and just walk away.

      5. With all due respect Jim, that’s not at all what I meant to imply.

        Claiming that a victim of theft is responsible for the negligent way the thief spent their ill gotten gains is something I’d probably never do.

    1. Common sense appears to be anything but. Not only in this particular situation but broadly speaking across our society. Common sense and common decency seem to be in increasingly short supply.

... and that's my two cents