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KOB.com New Mexico
June 14, 2012 AT 1:46 AM
say more should have been done to save them... tonight the little bear fire has burned more than 37-thousand acres--- it's just 35 percent contained. som people living in ruidoso are fed up with the feds.. and so is one u-s congressman from new mexico. they claim the u-s forest service hasn't done enough to keep homes from going up in minute thumbnail 06:00 pm flames.... and their red tape has kept local firefighters on the bench. 4 on your side reporter mike daniels went to find out why. he's live at the incident command post in ruidoso. mike? there's plenty of resources with the type 1 team now in place. but local residents say when the fire first startedlocal firefighters and equipment weren't used to keep the fire from destroying nearby homes. it's because of the feds dispatch priority list. one of our congressmen is calling for change. freda mcswane was told to EVACUATE BUT DIDN'T. 48:46 we stayed behind because of all these horses. she says she was shocked by what she saw.... the u-s forest service telling local firefighters to stand down. the forest service minute thumbnail 06:01 pm says it has a protocolor these situations... but from our vantage point, its more like red tape. for example when the little bear fire first started, two local helicopters sat unused. 27:12 those resources were there all this time. They haven't been overlooked, we have dispatch, just like in your business we have processes and it's dispatch. the two are type-3 fire helicopters with a water bucket. it's long-line qualified, and red-carded, which means it's ready to go when needed. but instead of using it, the forest service called for an already contracted helicopter that was farther AWAY. 29:06 with that dispatch priority list we didn't get into the needed. MCSWANE ALSO TOLD US fire fighters and dozers were parked on airport roadthe containment line. the forest service admits their people did nothing to save the homes NEARBY. 30:07 people could have got out there with toe-sacks and minute thumbnail 06:02 pm probably put them out, you had fire trucks sitting at the entrance of mongo, it was too dangers, we had private citizens going in there with fire, saved five houses out there. FIRE FIGHTERS SAY IT'S A harsh realityif a fire isn't outside the containment line saving homes isn't a priority if it threatens the safety the fire fighters. 45:25 there's certain circumstances, there's not we can do, we're gonna kill someone in the process. 31:52 we have to make a judgment whether it's safe to go in there or not, if someone goes in there that's they're responsibility, when I'm standing, I'm not going to send someone in there and get killed, and say we needed to protect that house. this isn't just us asking these questions. representative steve pearce blasted the u.s. forest service for not doing enough early on. we're going to continue to look minute thumbnail 06:03 pm into this. i'm told by local city and county officials that this is just the tip of the iceberg. reporting live in ruidoso mike daniels kob eye witness news four.