I want to thank the Laguna Beach Fire Department, and especially Ray Lardie—he has removed an incredible amount of dry vegetation not only in public areas, but he has diligently worked with many homeowners to remove dead/dying vegetation from their property. I don’t know how he did it, but he worked with some pretty reluctant folks who preferred to keep their yards “wild” and, well, a fire hazard. He has been removing Arundo and Pampas Grass, both listed as bad plants on the LB Fire Departments website—a good way to check what is good to plant and not to plant. Caltrans has also played an important part is clearing out the Canyon.
Unfortunately, the threat is not over and neither should be our vigilance. Hopefully this City Council will be able to draft a plan to take down the poles and provide some measure of safety, not only for those living in the canyon, but those who commute through the canyon, be they residents of our town or visitors. As we are seeing firsthand how many power poles have come down, how much they have added to the destruction the fire has played and of course power outages as a result; let’s rethink our responsibility to keep our city safe. I hope we can be more visionary and remove this threat from our town we often call paradise. Perhaps some people will look twice at their eucalyptus and palm trees as it seems that these trees played a crucial role in spreading the fire—it seems that tall trees did not catch embers and keep them from landing on houses as some folks in our town have claimed would happen. I also think of all the animals, domesticated or not, and wonder about how they will survive or have survived during this and its aftermath. I voted yes for Measure P and would so again.
We still have some Santa Anas in the weeks to come, so let’s keep vigilant and think about what we can do to mitigate replicating this horror our state is going through and help those who are in the midst of sorting out their lives.
Ganka Brown, Laguna Beach