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#20693 - 10/28/03 06:05 PM Re: Hunter's distress signal sparked California fi
jet Offline

Registered: 03/06/01
Posts: 220
The operative legal word here is "recklessly". Using a signal flare for its intended purpose is not "reckless", while using the same signal flare for practically any other purpose could easily be construed as "reckless".
Was this signal flare a handheld flare or an arial flare? Does anyone know?
Assuming it was an arial signal flare, personally, I wonder if he used one that was designed to be used over land. Few are. Most are for marine environments. I would suggest that, if he used an arial flare designed for marine-use, that could easily be judged as reckless. But, if he used an arial flare designed for land-use, that would not be reckless. That would be proper use of an safety device according to its intended design.
I agree that it is sad that the media focus so often habitually slides to fomenting conflict for ratings rather than using a tragic event to focus on education and prevention. The media could eaily use this occasion to spread knowledge that could perhaps help lessen the frequency of fires while simultaneously encouraging people to prepare better both for walking in the wilds and for potentially uprooting events.
Stay safe,

#20694 - 10/28/03 06:13 PM Re: Hunter's distress signal sparked California fi

I just did a quick search online and the only wilderness aerial flares I could locate were marine... Cabela's has a nifty new laser flare I may add to our equipment... <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> BTW Cabela's only has marine flares, too. There aren't any listed for hunting safety or survival.

#20695 - 10/28/03 06:19 PM Re: Hunter's distress signal sparked California fire
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
PLEASE ! There are enough casualties allready. Lets not add the board's civility to the list. As I wrote in another thread,everybody rolls out personal agendas after these disasters. If it wasn't some Nimrod, any number of things could have touched the fire off; a hot catalytic converter, broken glass catching the Moonlight etc. Remember the classic movie 'Fate is the Hunter?' A whole lot of small things came together; spilled coffee, an old pier due to be torn down etc. In the end Glen Ford just shrugged his shoulders and suggested fate.

#20696 - 10/28/03 06:33 PM Re: Hunter's distress signal sparked California fi

Had a house fire in the block a number of years ago.
How did it start? A bolt of lightning hit a 50' tall palm tree, the burning palm fronds fell on the roof of the house and .............
Talk about fate!

#20697 - 10/28/03 06:34 PM Re: Hunter's distress signal sparked California fire
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
My opinion: If there is enough evidence to substantiate the allegation that his actions started one of these fires, let a jury sort it out. We should be accountable for our actions. I suppose, regardless of his intentions, that living with the consequences of his actions will be quite a burdern, but that alone doesn't seem to me to be sufficient if the allegation is true.

FWIW, in over two decades of hunting in Colorado and Wyoming, the California hunters I have encountered have been observent, concientious, and decent outdoorsmen. The worst (and the reason I refuse to hunt Colorado anymore) have been 1) Locals in both states 2) - close second, Denver area "concrete cowboys" (a sub-type - not all Denverites) in Colorado. Despite my knee-jerk reaction to characterize, say, Texans in Colorado and Wyoming, I honestly cannot do that as everyone else I've encountered afield has been pretty middle-of-the road -- only the California hunters have stood out in my experience (and some of you who know me know that it almost hurts me to write that, LoL!)

The exceptions to # 1 in both states have been very noteworthy and can be numbered on less than my fingers. I've hunted both private and public land and can't see any behavior differences based on ownership. Californians who hunt in state may or may not be able to offer some general characterizations along these lines, although the size of the population there undoubtedly offers a huge diversity in personnas and behavior.

I feel sorry for the guy that is accused of starting the fire, but not enough to let him off without properly being held accountable.

My 2 cents.


#20698 - 10/28/03 06:44 PM Re: Hunter's distress signal sparked California fire
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
I hated having to take a Hunter Safety Course several years ago. Since then, I have changed my mind... My Dad was (and remains) ferocious about gun safety in all environs. To this day I have no idea where he got all the details - but he could walk in to any accredited Hunter Safety course and instruct the whole thing Ad Hoc as well or better as any certified instructor. BUT THAT WAS NOT THE NORM when I grew up - and even less so when he grew up.

See, it's not ME I worry about - it's the OTHER GUY (or gal). And if the price to pay for at least getting them some "no excuses" instruction is that I have to attend, well, that's just fine with me. I know I have a Constitutional right to own weapons, but I do not have a Constitutional right to hunt - that is a privilege granted by "the state".

The raw statistics of firearms accidents while hunting seem to support mandatory Hunter Safety instruction - the accident rates have proportionally declined. Maybe we should re-test every so often just like for our driver's licenses? Just a thought. I hate state interference in my life, but this seems like a reasonable thing to me.



#20699 - 10/28/03 07:06 PM Re: Hunter's distress signal sparked California fi

There is an outfit in San Diego that sells the laser flares at a bit of a discount.


#20700 - 10/28/03 07:25 PM Re: Hunter's distress signal sparked California fire

but I do not have a Constitutional right to hunt - that is a privilege granted by "the state".

This is not a matter of rights but resource ownership. Whether you know it or not this issue is a political hot-topic with many. Since that topic is not survival related I won't do more than to cast doubt on the validity of this assertion.

#20701 - 10/28/03 07:49 PM Re: Hunter's distress signal sparked California fire
paramedicpete Offline

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
So what would our postings look like if the hunter had not started the fire with the flare, but instead led to his/her rapid rescue? Would we not see at least several postings, praising him/her for their thoughtful preparation, by including a visual rescue aid? It is easy for each of here to second-guess the actions of others with 20/20 hindsight. However, until we have been in the same exact situation, none of us, know for sure how we would react. I have seen some of the best-trained, best equipped, individuals; with years of experience literally freeze under certain circumstances. Just my 2 cents. Pete

#20702 - 10/28/03 08:56 PM Re: Hunter's distress signal sparked California fire

Had he used the flare in a manner that didn't cause a wildfire then he would have been equipped with reason, skill, and gear. It seems he was equipped with gear - not so sure which of the other two attributes of proper equipment he was lacking but it seems that he lacked atleast one of them if not both. A signal fire is a valuable and useful thing whether it is at the tip of a flare or in a fire-ring but to use one without proper caution can be deadly. If this individual had make a reasonable signal fire in a safe fire ring and then fallen into it because of in-attention or lack of coordination the signal fire would have been for nought. The gear alone is not sufficient, skill and responsibility in the use of the gear is also required to ensure survival. This applies for all tools from table saws to matches to emergency space bag bivies. These may all help you survive if properly used, however if you use these tools improperly they each may kill you. You may be toasty warm in your space bag while you die of CO poisoning because you want your head warm also.

In this case the individual was rescued from his compound mistakes (first getting lost, second setting the forest in which he was lost on fire) by people responding to the consequences of his second mistake not his proper use of the signaling device. Had he used the device in the manner he did without setting the forest on fire he may still be wandering around out there but disarmed. He didn't even know if the intended target of his signal was paying attention or if anyone else could see his signal.

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