I am a past president and former member of the Pine/ Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild. Two years ago, the guild canceled its 4th of July Festival due to fire danger. Their vendors and crafters were notified in a timely manner and fees were promptly returned. The guild was unable to reach only one vendor to notify of cancellation.
Today the chief of the Pine/ Strawberry Fire District recommended that the guild cancel this weekend's event. They were informed that the current fire danger poses a 50-50 chance of entering the communities. They have chosen to ignore his advice and will continue to hold the festival. By doing so, they hold little regard for the safety of our communities and the residents. Local business owners have expressed their feelings, and they, too, wish to see the cancellation of the event.
Additional traffic and numbers of people in and around our communities will only add to the congestion that firefighters will have to contend with. They are here to help us, and we need to give them all the support we can by not hindering their efforts.
What will the smoke do to the products that the crafters bring to sell? Articles made of fabric will absorb the smoke and make those items unattractive to buyers. No doubt other items will be covered with the ash fallout.
Last, but certainly not least, what is more important, the loss of revenue to the guild, or the safety of our communities?
Paul B. Paul, Strawberry