I am happy to know that the powers that be in El Dorado County have raised the bar of attention with regard to fire protection, most especially in our more rural communities. CEDAPP, together with the support of many fire experts, has put together a campaign designed not just for the protection of property, but most importantly, for the protection of lives.
The current school of thought is that the possibility, probability and potential of a high-magnitude wildfire is simply not a “maybe,” rather a matter of when. In the face of current drought conditions, the situation becomes even more dismal and ever more scary. Our more rural, forested communities have not even really moved out of last year’s dry fire season and we are mere weeks away from moving into the next one. Saving property under these conditions is not the issue. Those of us who have practiced defensible space in our surroundings are at least trying to do what we can do to help save our property (and our firefighters’ lives), but the reality is, tragically, that when such a wildfire strikes, community residents are going to need to hit the road promptly … and therein lies the problem.
Do we know which road to hit? Do we know how to get through fires if we have to? Do we know how to prepare for that eventuality as individuals and as communities and neighborhoods? The main issue now is how we evacuate people promptly and safely.