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Where is the Model for Fire Safety?

Editor,

Thank you Ganka Brown for noting the photo of the recent brush fire in Bluebird Canyon, demonstrating the volume of fuel that could go up in flames, along with numerous houses (“A Picture Says a 1,000 Words,” Letters, March 23).

 

It’s amazing that our city has been successful with some big projects (think of the greenbelt, South Coast hospital in the ‘50s, the “window to the sea” at Main Beach in the ‘60s and recently the marine protection zone), but can’t seem to come to grips with the reality of fire danger.

 

Another conflagration like 1993 is not an if, but a when.  And we will be woefully unprepared. Yes, our friends in the goat herd have helped clear undeveloped hillsides, but think about other dangers:  not only are eucalyptus trees literally firebombs, they are voraciously thirsty and use too much of our precious water. There are many areas in Laguna like Bluebird canyon, where vegetation – fuel – has grown out of control.  On top of that, those same areas are difficult to access.  I can only imagine the mess when residents are trying to flee Diamond Crestview while fire trucks are trying to get up the hill.  There’s only one route in and out, and some parts are not wide enough for two cars to pass, much less a fire truck and a car.

 

We’ve done so well in other areas  – why can’t we put our backs into improving the chances for our residents and their homes to survive the challenge we know will come?

 

John Chamberlin, Laguna Beach

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