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Questions Arise Over Nyes Place Fuel Trimming

Editor,

(This letter was sent to Fire Chief Jeff LaTendresse and City Manager John Pietig)

From a phone conversation with Mr. LaTendresse, I understand that the city has hired consultants to study the issues regarding a proposed fuel modification in the Nyes Portofino area that does not include the hillside property uphill in the 400 block of Nyes. It seems unusual that this one blockwas not included in that this property is contiguous to the study area and is not contiguous to any other brush area for fuel modification.  Access to the proposed area will be through private property in this 400 block of Nyes. The 400 block area is completely surrounded by homes except where it connects with the canyon area at the first uphill turn of Nyes where I understand the study begins.

The lower part of the 400 block is an area with a higher-than-normal likelihood of starting a fire due to out-of-control vehicles coming down the very steep Nyes. There is actual history of out-of-control vehicles slamming into the brush hillside area at the 400 block turn around and many times into adjacent houses immediately below the 400 block brush area. It seems this might be a priority area of concern for fuel modification due to the higher-than-average fire hazard. Possibly this is a higher hazard area than any other point in the proposed study area.

I realize that I may have misunderstood but I am writing in an abundance of caution and concern.  You may recall my speaking at City Council and with you personally about concern for the 400-block hillside fuel modification when funds were allocated for the study.

Please let me know what the neighbors would need to do in order to have this one block property included for needed fuel modification in this current effort. We are in hopes that this is a misunderstanding or oversight and will be remedied.

Bill Kelley, Laguna Beach

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