Anheuser-Busch delivers for volunteers

This year marks a new high of 2.5 million cans of water produced this summer by Anheuser-Busch and donated to volunteer fire departments across the country. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) partnership with Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers producers delivers cases of canned drinking water to VFDs to help keep firefighters hydrated in times of emergency or long incidents. Anheuser-Busch also works with the American Red Cross — since 1906 — to support disaster relief efforts in the U.S.

NVFC.orgThis summer the company will deliver 2.5 million cans — more than ever before. The pallets of water will be gifted to over 600 VFDs in 48 states, with a goal of reaching more than 1,000 this season.

The company understands that despite the countless hours of service that volunteers provide, they often lack the budgets to adequately equip and supply their firefighters at a safe level; producing and donating these cases of drinking water is one way that Anheuser-Busch helps out and gives back to those who protect their communities from fires and other emergencies.

“Showing up for our communities and first responders has long been part of the Anheuser-Busch legacy – that’s who we are,” says Cesar Vargas, chief of external affairs. “We’re proud to continue building on that tradition by working with our wholesaler partners and NVFC to support our neighbors, friends, and families.”

NVFC.orgAnheuser-Busch has a long history of providing support for disaster relief and preparedness, including through its flagship emergency drinking water program and its partnership with the American Red Cross. Since launching this collaboration with NVFC in 2019, the brewer has donated more than 6.4 million cans of clean, safe drinking water to more than 960 volunteer fire departments across 49 states.

NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch said the canned drinking water is a valuable asset in volunteers’ ability to respond to wildfires and other emergencies. “We appreciate Anheuser-Busch’s increased commitment to supplying our nation’s fire service with this much-needed resource — and for their continued partnership in keeping our communities safe.”

Cases of canned emergency water are sourced from Anheuser-Busch’s breweries in Cartersville, Georgia and Fort Collins, Colorado — these breweries periodically pause beer production to can clean, safe drinking water for volunteer fire departments. More info about the Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters Program ( is available online.

Anheuser-Busch supporting volunteer fire departments
Anheuser-Busch supporting volunteer fire departments

At Anheuser-Busch, our purpose is to create a future with more cheers. We are always looking to serve up new ways to meet life’s moments, dream big to move our industry forward, and make a meaningful impact in the world. We hope to build a future that everyone can celebrate, and everyone can share. For more than 160 years, Anheuser-Busch has carried on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, we own and operate more than 120 facilities, including breweries, wholesaler distribution centers, agricultural facilities, and packaging plants.

NVFC is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, emergency medical, and rescue services. The NVFC ( serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides critical advocacy, resources, programs, and education for first responders across the nation.


THIS IS A REPLAY of an old post from 6 years ago,
a photo and a message posted back in June 2017 by a friend of a friend.

He gave me permission to re-run the photo and the message.

Patrick Carnahan photo from 2017
Patrick Carnahan wrote back then:

“A little better pic from last night’s fire. I’ve been doing this for 29 years now and this is the first wildland season since 1994 that I’m concerned about extreme fire behavior. In ’94 I didn’t know any better and I thought all fires should, would, and will hand you your ass if you’re not on top of your game. For those spending the summer on the lines this has the potential to be a long season, so keep one foot in the black and live to tell the stories. Here’s to walking where the devil dances and your water is always warm. STAY SAFE, MY FRIENDS.”

Brushfire burns across the Mexican border into southern California

A wildfire that started this afternoon in northwest Mexico just south of the California border burned into the U.S, followed by a response from Cal Fire crews.

Border 14 Fire 06/21/2023

CBS8 News reported that Cal Fire San Diego launched several aircraft to initial attack a brushfire when it burned across the border at Dulzura; Cal Fire got reports just before 1 p.m. of a 20-acre fire near Border Road and Marron Valley Road. Firefighters reported gusty winds in the area.

Cal Fire San Diego said the Border 14 Fire was burning in the Copper Canyon area with about 2 acres burning on the U.S. side of the border.


PacifiCorp wants ratepayers to foot the bill for fires

PacifiCorp is requesting that customers pay its $90 million wildfire liability

In a filing last week with the Oregon Public Utility Commission, PacifiCorp requested that it be allowed to defer its liability debt and add those costs to customer rates in the future, according to a report by Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).

In the historic legal decision, a Multnomah County Circuit Court jury found PacifiCorp liable for around $90 million in damages to western Oregon residents who lost homes and property in wildfires started by powerlines after the utility company failed to shut down power despite multiple warnings about severe windstorms over the 2020 Labor Day holiday.

“The deferred accounting application enables PacifiCorp to preserve its ability to seek wildfire cost recovery in the future in the event the outcome could potentially impact the financial stability of the Company, which would result in higher costs to customers,” attorneys for PacifiCorp wrote.

“Pacificorp executives fail to act, and cause multiple fires that burn homes and special places across Oregon,” responded Ralph Bloemers, director of Fire Safe Communities for Green Oregon. “Based on eyewitness evidence, a jury found them grossly negligent and in reckless disregard of community safety. Apparently they want to keep paying dividends to their corporate shareholders while Oregonians pick up the tab. Will the Public Utility Commission be a toothless lapdog, or will it look out for Oregon’s best interests?”

On June 14 jurors found PacifiCorp must pay punitive damages that could amount to billions of dollars in the Echo Mountain Complex, Santiam Canyon, South Obenchain, and 242 fires. PacifiCorp said it was disappointed with the jury’s decision and that it plans to appeal.

The Labor Day fires were among the worst natural disasters in Oregon’s history. They killed nine people, burned more than 1,875 square miles (4,856 square kilometers) and destroyed upwards of 5,000 homes and other structures.

2020 Labor Day firesIn 2019 California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, went bankrupt after it paid out billions in lawsuits related to the deadly wildfires it caused.

In recent years, PG&E powerlines and faulty or maintenance-deferred equipment set off 31 wildfires that leveled entire towns and killed 113 people.

In 2020 PG&E pleaded guilty to more than 80 counts of manslaughter for its role in the 2018 Camp Fire, which destroyed the northern California town of Paradise.

Utilities, especially in the U.S. West, are finally finding themselves in a financial bind — mostly of their own making. An Associated Press report published by KPTV News noted that updating, replacing, and even burying thousands of miles of powerlines is a time-consuming and expensive undertaking. But the utilities’ failure to do or even start that work in earnest years ago has put them at risk as wildfires have grown more destructive — and lawsuits over electrical equipment igniting wildfires have ballooned.

From one of the exhibits at trial
From one of the exhibits at trial

In Oregon the PUC is responsible for rate regulation of investor-owned electric utilities (Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, and Idaho Power), natural gas utilities (Avista, Cascade Natural, and NW Natural), landline phone service providers, and some water companies.

Because utilities produce profits for investors from customers, they often raise revenue for infrastructure upgrades by hiking rates. PG&E’s bankruptcy settlement with California wildfire victims totaled $13.5 billion. But only half that money was paid to victims in cash — the other half was paid out in PG&E stock, and that stock has since declined in value.

Oregon’s Citizens’ Utility Board, a nonprofit that advocates for utility customers at the state level, called it “outrageous” that PacifiCorp wants to pass its legal costs on to Oregonians.

“Customers pay the costs of prudent, reasonable, utility operations,” said Bob Jenks, the CUB executive director. “The court found that Pacific Power was reckless and grossly negligent, and included punitive damages meant to punish the company, not customers. Customers should not pay a dime of these costs.”

The state PUC would need to approve this request before PacifiCorp could defer the wildfire liability costs. The Citizens’ Utility Board said it intends to fight that approval. The final verdict in the class-action lawsuit is posted on our DOCUMENTS page.

Arrest in last summer’s Oak Fire

A 71-year-old man was arrested and charged with starting the 2022 Oak Fire, the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office said yesterday. Edward Fredrick Wackerman of Mariposa, California, faces felony charges including aggravated arson for the fire that burned 19,244 acres and destroyed 127 residential structures and dozens of outbuildings. The Fresno Bee reported that the Oak Fire near Yosemite National Park ignited about 2 p.m. on July 22, 2022, in Midpines.

Edward Fredrick Wackerman, 71, accused of starting the 2020 Oak Fire in Mariposa County, SHERIFF'S OFFICE photo
Edward Fredrick Wackerman, 71, SHERIFF’S OFFICE photo

CAL FIRE law enforcement officers arrested Wackerman, according to the Mariposa Gazette, after an extensive interagency investigation, on multiple felony charges including suspicion of aggravated arson PC 451.5, arson that causes great bodily injury PC 451(a), and arson causing damage or destruction of inhabited structures PC 451(b).

The investigation was a collaborative effort among multiple agencies including CAL FIRE Law Enforcement, Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office, USFS Law Enforcement, NPS Law Enforcement, Madera County District Attorney Investigators, Mariposa County District Attorney’s Office, California Department of Justice Attorney General’s Office, and the FBI.

Oak Fire 2022

There were no reported fatalities caused by the Oak Fire, but Cal Fire said some were injured and treated, almost all for heat-related illness, and the fire burned for almost a month.

Oak Fire 2022

Officials initially said they were limited on what they could discuss in order to protect the investigation, but the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office said it planned a news conference for 10 a.m. Tuesday in front of the Mariposa County Courthouse; it will be streamed live on Facebook.