Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Rep. McClintock, why won’t you speak up about fire protection?

Rep. Tom McClintock debates challenger Jessica Morse at Mariposa High last fall.
Rep. Tom McClintock debates challenger Jessica Morse at Mariposa High last fall. McClatchy file

Where’s our congressman on fire protection?

Will Congressman McClintock go to bat for his constituents?

In its ongoing battle with California the Trump administration is now threatening to renege on its agreement to reimburse the state for firefighting costs. The California Fire Assistance Agreement (CFAA) is a five-year agreement, expiring in 2020. Under the CFAA the federal government agrees to repay the state for the costs of fighting wildfires in which local fire departments join with the Forest Service in fighting fires that cross jurisdictional lines.

Anyone living here in the foothills, particularly those of us living up against the Sierra National Forest are acutely aware of the importance of having a well-funded, and well-coordinated firefighting presence. In the past several years we have had fires burn, and homes lost, in North Fork, Cascadel, Bass Lake Heights, Oakhurst and a number of other areas of Eastern Madera County.

After checking with Mr. McClintock’s office, visiting his website, and reviewing his social media accounts I have been unable to find any public comment from him on this issue. The congressman seems to be extremely busy, currently, defending the president. Yet the entire 4th Congressional District, being at high risk for wildfire, will be affected by the outcome of this conflict. My concern is: Will the congressman have the courage to stand up to the president on this issue? We know that disagreeing with Mr. Trump, particularly for a Republican congressman, can come at a high cost. But where do the congressman’s primary responsibilities lie … with his constituents or with the president?

Charlies Richie, North Fork

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