My husband was reading the Roundup last night (Tuesday) and commented on the fact that the Dude Fire had been almost 23 years ago (next month).
I immediately told him he was wrong (after all, what’s a wife for?) it had only been about 10 years or so. Then I realized I was wrong. It had, indeed, been almost 23 years ago.
I remember when it broke out being very thankful and very worried at the same time. Thankful, as the ash fell like light snow all the way over here in Forest Lakes, that it was far enough away and we were safe from the destruction, and worried for the people, their homes and those fighting to save the homes and the rest of the forest.
Reading about the proactive approach being taken by the Glaunsingers and their firewise campaign was inspiring. But the fact that there are those who refuse to make their properties firewise saddens me greatly.
Yes, we do have wonderful freedom in the USA. But with that freedom comes responsibility. One of those responsibilities is not only to make our property firewise for our own sake, and possibly lower our homeowners insurance rates, but to help protect our neighbors and the community.
Those of you living in the readership range of the Roundup and still unconvinced, read “The Monster Reared His Ugly Head” by Jim Paxon, formerly with the USFS and information liaison to the media and those of us watching the horrors of the Rodeo-Chediski Fire unfold. It’s complete with pictures to show just what fire can do. (I have yet to read this book, The experience is still too close.)
The overgrowth on the land — private property and state owned — is not normal. Caring for the land is like caring for a garden. You don’t let all the seeds you plant grow — they compete for resources and none of them will be healthy. So you remove the smallest and the many to make room for the strongest. Same concept in the forest as well as on private property.
In my opinion, ignoring the clean up of your property, wherever it is in the Payson area, is a huge slap in the face of those six dedicated firefighters — five men and one woman — who put their lives on the line and made the ultimate sacrifice to save your property.
Another fire season is upon us, earlier and so far, more explosive than in the past. Again kudos to the Glaunsingers and all their neighbors participating in the firewise campaign in Bonita Creek. They understand that too many trees, plus too much overgrown vegetation equals a possible large loss of property, life, and ugly burned skeletons of those too many trees and overgrown vegetation.
May we all take a lesson from their experience and make our own properties firewise.