Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

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By an edhat reader

[On Sunday] I passed a convoy of fire engines and a chipper and other vehicles from the Painted Cave Volunteer Fire Dept. going down East Camino Cielo. Does anyone know why or where the emergency response vehicles went? I thought they were currently inactive due to pending litigation/investigations?

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Flicka Oct 23, 2019 06:24 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

SBARTS, Good grief, that's even worse news that the homes in Painted Cave were going to knowingly be "sacrificed". The residents, the ones we know, were told the backfires were lit by out of town firefighters who had no reason to know about the homes. Guess it was figured better to let them think it was a mistake than know it was done on purpose. Imagine how you would feel to know your home was burned down and you lost everything "for the better good."

a-1576282622 Oct 23, 2019 04:56 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

It seems like the equipment should be kept in the community not sold to pay legal fees for Buckley. Does PCVFD have legal counsel? How can Buckley take the trucks and be in control of the bank account still? There’s something fishy here.

hilltopperson Oct 23, 2019 12:31 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

FYI, SBSBSBSBSBSB - PCVFD existed and received grants because of the Painted Cave community. No one would have granted PCVFD anything without the community/residents. Over the years, Painted Cave residents have donated plenty of money and time to the PCVFD.

I know Fire Nov 03, 2019 12:12 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

The majority of Money raised by Chief Buckley came from outside private donations....as a whole the residents of Painted Cave are of limited means.......

SBArts Oct 23, 2019 09:57 AM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

Hi Flicka FYI re: the Coyote Fire - the Firefighters did know there were homes in Painted Cave. “By 8 am the view from the mountaintop retreat is grim. The fire has crossed into Maria Ygnacio Canyon and, fed by strong, hot winds, is sweeping relentlessly towards those who have remained. The Forest Service has committed every man and pumper available to halting the fire at Highway 154. It appears that the Painted Cave community will be sacrificed. “We planned to run a backfire all the way up the road to the pass,” Forest Supervisor Bill Hansen explains later. “and that would have included burning Painted Cave. It appeared that it was an utter impossibility to save the homes. “It was no easy decision I made to run the backfire, because once we started the line across the road there was little chance to stop the backfire until we reached the pass.” Hansen’s top fire bosses agree with his decision. To hold the line at Highway 154, it is imperative that they backfire all the way to the top of the Pass, including the area where the homes of those in Painted Cave are located. The key factor in making this determination is the latest weather report which predicts that the east winds will remain undiminished throughout the afternoon.” Independent article you can look it up

Flicka Oct 22, 2019 04:59 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

Well, I am glad to hear the residents of Painted Cave are protected by the Forest Service and the County. Times have changed and hopefully it works now. In 1964 they were also supposed to be covered by the Forest Service but no one was sent up because they were afraid they would be trapped. Hence, the residents after that fire decided to start their own volunteer fire department and get equipment to save their homes. Also, out of town firefighters didn't know there were houses up there so lit backfires. Houses burned but luckily not all of them. We had friends living there who were part of the whole horrible situation. KEY-T had announced all the houses in Painted Cave had burned.

Flicka Oct 22, 2019 09:32 AM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

I'm guessing the Painted Cave residents all pitched in to buy their fire equipment. So, what is the point of leaving them unprotected, w/o their resources, because some volunteers took advantage and/or screwed up. Can anyone give a better understanding of all this? I remember the start of this volunteer fire crew after the 1964 Coyote Fire when the community was left to burn with no defense.

hilltopperson Oct 23, 2019 12:34 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

PCVFD existed and received grants because of the Painted Cave community. No one would have granted PCVFD anything without the community/residents. Over the years, Painted Cave residents have donated plenty of money and time to the PCVFD.

a-1576282622 Oct 23, 2019 03:52 AM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

@ 4:12 So the firefighting equipment was paid for by grants, which in turn means by taxpayer dollars. Now the profit will be used to finance an appeal by a corrupt board? That doesn’t seem legal or ethical. Shouldn’t the money go back to the government? There is no free lunch Mr Buckley. Mr. Ridling taught me that in 11th grade...

MountainMan4865 Oct 22, 2019 10:03 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

Flicka - essentially, our community fire department has been ripped away from us in the shadows. In 2004 Buckley incorporated the department... to write grants. There were open board meetings, the firefighters were voting members. 2006 firefighters voted for board members and adopted the bylaws. 2007 firefighters voted for board members. 2008, one of the three board members moves away. There are no more annual meeting, no more voting, but that's okay, because the turnover is so high, no one notices. The community members just want to protect the community, and the academy grads brought in (with the promise of going out of County on fires and making the big bucks) don't know or care about the annual meetings, or voting. Fast forward to 2018, community members approach the hand picked (by Kevin Buckley - self appointed chief and president of the board) regarding concerns and decisions made in the board's name. Members are informed the board hasn't met in 'years'. Buckley has been making unilateral decisions with no oversight. The board starts meeting again in the Spring of 2018. The treasurer asks neighbors to make copies of 6 months of bank records to bring to the meeting, neighbors (also firefighters) point out gross misuse of funds. Treasurer calls Buckley out on such accusations, Buckley responds by canvassing community with "Several people have come to me concerned about 'treasurer's' dementia'". In the fall of 2018 the current board tries to rewrite the by-laws to reign in Buckley's power. They are, apparently, given bogus by-laws to start with. New by-laws state there are 'No Members'. Fire fighters are told the new by-laws are secret. No firefighter is allowed to speak to a board member. If there is a problem, firefighters go to Buckley, if there is a problem with Buckley, firefighters are to write down the problem on paper and give it to Buckley, who would them take it to the board.

SBSBSBSBSBsb Oct 22, 2019 04:12 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

It was paid for by grants not the residents. On top of that, They are still protected by the forest service and SB county. Nice guess though

a-1576282622 Oct 21, 2019 05:39 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

Yesiree - Every single piece of viable fire fighting apparatus was removed en masse since yesterday afternoon. It is all now sitting at Mission City Auto in Old Town Goleta, although they say it's not for sale.... two wildland brush trucks, two patrol trucks, two command vehicles, Sprinter re-hab van, John Deere tractor and a chipper. A water tender chassis was towed from the station today, presumably heading the same way. Their lawyer must be really pricey.

a-1576282622 Oct 21, 2019 09:46 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

Perhaps their lawyers who will be fighting to keep Kevin Buckley out of prison will be expensive.

a-1576282622 Oct 21, 2019 08:37 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

Sarcasm... not really. The standing Board of the fire department has stated that they will use all their money to fight the lawsuit (to be open and transparent) which they have already lost once, then sell the equipment to continue to fight the lawsuit - so community be damned. They took all the apparatus off the mountain, during a red flag warning and a potential power shut off. No explanation, no warning. The only thing left is a rehabbed 1974 engine in questionable working order.

a-1576282622 Oct 21, 2019 07:12 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

Why do you say their lawyer is expensive? Sarcasm? Why would they want their equipment removed? Anyone with real information, I'd like to be informed. Thanks.

pstarSR Oct 21, 2019 03:20 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

Im guessing they were helping in gaviota, i have not heard they were “inactive”. That seems kinda stupid

a-1576282622 Oct 21, 2019 04:44 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

As far as the public knows they're suspended but also appears this dept has been quite shady so who knows. But you're right, it's very dangerous that it's inactive right now.

a-1576282622 Oct 21, 2019 03:40 PM
Painted Cave Fire Dept in Action?

"The PCVFD board has suspended firefighter operations since the lawsuit" from Aug 29, 2019 article: https://www.edhat.com/news/painted-cave-fire-department-ordered-to-turn-over-financial-records

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