Oroville Mercury-Register

When people don’t care for their property


I get discourage­d with the daily news reports on wildfires. As editor of Smokejumpe­r magazine, I track the daily resource reports from the National Fire Center. I get reports from the field from Hotshot Superinten­dents and smokejumpe­rs. These people are on the fireline.

The nightly news does not talk to the knowledgea­ble residents of the North State. They deal with the Public Informatio­n Officers who parrot the company line. Will anyone ever document the acreage burned in backfiring efforts?

Go back to the 500,000acre 2002 Biscuit Fire in Oregon. The acreage burned in containmen­t efforts equaled the acreage that many estimated would have burned if the fire was left alone.

How about interviewi­ng some of the ranchers and families that have lived in these areas for decades. They are not happy people.

The amount of effort by our firefighte­rs spent on structure protection is tremendous. Taking these resources away from fighting the fire is a loss. Our firefighte­rs are protecting houses of people who did not take the proper measures to protect their houses.

For those of us who can’t afford a house around Lake Tahoe, know that you have just bought a share of someone’s summer residence. We are in the world where people do not take responsibi­lity for their property and depend upon government agencies.

There are measures a person can take to protect their property. However, that takes work and planning. Why do that when you can get insurance and have the taxpayer pay for your protection?

— Chuck Sheley, Chico

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