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Cliff Shelton, Steve Fleming, Lisa and Neil Miller, Terry and Tom Ortez, Barbara MacArthur, Steve Smith and Bob MacArthur line up when their work was completed. Ed Organ (not pictured) also did work earlier on Friday. Photo submitted

Community works to protect cell tower from fire

By Barbara MacArthur

Volunteers raked a pile of pine needles and other debris to clear space around the cell tower. Photo submitted

Out of shared concern for our vulnerable communications systems in a wild fire, a great group of LACC volunteers gathered at Clifford Gate on Sept. 1 to clean and clear the hazardous fuels surrounding our Verizon cell tower. We had learned from the experiences in recent wildfires how destructive they are to communications like cell towers and how easily communications can be cut off.

We had a first-hand experience in August due to the Susanville area fire in August when almost all communications failed here on the Peninsula. We could see there was no time to waste regarding our own vulnerability as our own cell tower area was loaded with surrounding hazardous fuels.

A big thank you to all for the great teamwork! What a difference it has made! Everyone rolled up their sleeves, pitched in and got the job done! Not only did we remove much of the fire danger from around the cell tower, but the area now has a park like feel to it, a big enhancement to the gate entrance! Many thanks to Board member Steve Fleming for helping to move this project forward and using his trailer to haul a big load away for us!

LACC maintenance could see we needed help with the rest and will remove the large piles of cuttings and ground debris. There are a couple hazard trees slated for removal.

Comments made afterwards by our helpers: “Teamwork, ain’t it great! I am always amazed how much good work can get done!” “And it was FUN!”

Our plan is to finish the remainder of the area in September with more raking and ladder fuel removal. We plan to do more such volunteer projects within the community. We welcome more ideas for projects and always volunteers!

Now there is defensible space to protect the cell tower and the community’s communications. Photo submitted


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