“Please…protect us. Our own county isn’t doing so.”
“Any relaxation of code restrictions that permits development without safe, adequate access for fire apparatus is simply a disaster waiting to happen.”
Dear Board of Forestry,
For 20 years, I have owned a ranch property in rural, unincorporated Sonoma County. My single access route is a private road. In 2017, my property was narrowly missed by the Tubbs Fire, which stopped 1/2 mile from my door after traveling 30 miles in just three hours. I watched the destruction of Coffey Park from my front porch.
So many people are on narrow roads that limit their ability to quickly evacuate. Friends nearby in Fulton were trapped at their rural property when the fire jumped Highway 101 and a tree fell across their narrow rural lane, blocking their only exit. They took refuge in a horse pasture while they watched their neighborhood burn to the ground. They were lucky they survived. This isn’t even a neighborhood that you would ever worry about fire risk in — it’s in a flat valley and surrounded by vineyards.
Sonoma County wants to reduce the 20-foot-wide road requirement on existing private roads to 12 feet. They would also eliminate all road requirements for existing public roads and allow for the development on long, dead-end roads. This is sheer insanity and shows reckless disregard for the safety of the entire community. We need more safe roads, not less!
Please do the right thing and follow your own laws and deny the Sonoma County Fire Ordinance regulation revisions. Cal Fire regulations exist to protect both residents and firefighters from wildfires and County’s should abide by these regulations or have stricter regulations.
Please…protect us. Our own county isn’t doing so. Please help us.
Dear Board Members.
I am a retired Fire Captain/Fire Marshall here in rural San Diego County. In 2003 I watched my home burn down in the Cedar Fire – because out of town Firefighters were reluctant to venture down narrow country lanes. Any relaxation of code restrictions that permits development without safe, adequate access for fire apparatus is simply a disaster waiting to happen. What more needs to be seen than the 2020 firestorms to drive home the importance of not loosening road restrictions, more than ever now with challenges from climate change, etc.
I strongly urge the Board not to loosen road access policies at this time – lives are certain to be lost if restrictions are eased.
Julian/Cuyamaca Fire Protection District