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Letter to the Editor: Preparation is key

A month or two ago I noticed a letter in Plumas News that questioned the sort of job someone did many years ago; something to the effect of: “nobody could figure out…”  If I’m not mistaken, the Plumascorp was formed to apply for grant money available to further the work of the Fire-safe Council, and John Sheehan played a major role in the incorporation of Plumascorp, and in grant applications.

If that letter writer isn’t convinced of the importance of defensible space and shaded fuel breaks, I’d like to point out a few examples.  A lightning-caused fire in the autumn of ’89 gravely threatened Portola, may have taken a few outbuildings, and was probably only stopped because the football and baseball fields were well-watered, and the brave efforts of every available agency including the Portola Volunteer Fire Department.

Earlier this summer, the Loyalton fire created havoc between Sierra Brooks, Chilcoot/Vinton, Hallelujah Junction, and Bordertown.  The Sheep fire destroyed many acres of forest and burned 8 or 9 residences.  The Bear and Claremont fires have burned together to be the North Complex, have forced advisory evacuations, and some mandatory evacuations. A few years ago, it was a gal named Minerva, and company, that were doing the damage.  The Moonlight fire destroyed a lovely home and some 80,000 acres in Indian Valley, and the Chips fire interrupted Prattville’s water supply, and made the late summer very uncomfortable in the Almanor area.

While I’m well aware that filing paperwork and writing grant proposals is not in the same realm as cutting handline around a spot fire, or structure protection, just remember the 5 (or to some the 7) “p”s, regarding preparation.

Gene Nielsen

Crescent Mills

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