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I will ‘brave the blaze’

Posted: September 16, 2009 9:00 p.m.
Updated: September 17, 2009 4:55 a.m.
“Braving the Blaze” by Brian Charles (The Signal, Sept. 6) is a thoughtful piece that, in summary, encourages folks to abandon their homes when wildfires threaten. It caused me to reflect on human nature.  

There are those who delegate responsibility for their personal welfare to others and those who embrace responsibility. Some say that the fire department’s job is to put out fires. They grudgingly pay their taxes and ignore calls to remove brush around their homes.

Recognizing that even the best fire fighters cannot be everywhere at once, others take preventative action.   

As a homeowner on top of a brush-covered ridge, I have given careful consideration to potential conflagrations. I have decided I am one of those who plan to ignore mandatory evacuation orders and remain to try to preserve my home.  

To this end, I have cleared brush, installed perimeter sprinklers to wet the slope and strategically placed a large gasoline-engine-powered fire pump that draws water from the swimming pool. I have a firefighting plan and an evacuation route in mind. I believe I have done due diligence in this matter.

Exactly what is my risk? It is indeed sobering to know that two firefighters lives were lost in the Station Fire.  

Yet according to the National Interagency Fire Center, U.S. wildfire fatalities due to major fires totaled 33 in the last decade. By comparison, approximately 400,000 people lost their lives on the nation’s highways during that period.  

Shall we all give up driving?

By the way, bravado has no role in my decision, only reality.


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