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We all have a stake in clearing brush

June 23, 2012

The recent fire on a ridge just off the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club, with homes just a few feet away, was a grim reminder of the dangers dry brush and trees pose to our community. However, the article in the Valley Sun covering the May 20 fire left a number of questions unanswered: How was the fire started? Is there an investigation? Was it fueled by dry brush that should previously have been cleared?

As a survivor of the record Station fire, these answers are of interest, not just to me but to many who continue to act responsibly in their management of dry slopes and trees.

On this note, many of us have noticed a dedicated interest from residents in this area in trimming their trees and in the slope cleanups. However, there continue to be slopes that remain with high dry grasses and bushes. One example of this includes the slopes managed by the homeowners organization of Starlight Crest.

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Those of us living across from such dry and vulnerable slopes are greatly concerned about the damage a fire could cause to our property. Although the homeowners association has been great at maintaining these slopes in past years and clearing by early June, as of today, they remain a perfect storm for a great fire. Phone calls to the Fire Department have only confirmed that firefighters' encouragement to homeowners who do not fall under the demands of the fire clearance ordinance may be taken as only recommendations. Perhaps it is time to revisit this ordinance?

My family, as with many others from this area, saw the start of the Station fire. It left an impression on all of us. I can say that it has made me much more vigilant and personally responsible since I am well aware that my management of my slopes and trees affect many other homes and homeowners. Many of us ask the same of our neighbors.

Carmen Saavedra

La Cañada Flintridge
 

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