300-foot fire whorls like this made Lockwood Valley hard to defend in the September 2006 Day fire. The 2010 Wildland Fire Season begins this week. Brush clearing is due by June 9.
Commentary by Patric Hedlund
Memories of fire storms and evacuations from our mountain homes during the 2006 Day fire may greet the announcement this week that the 2010 Wildland Fire Season has officially begun.
On Tuesday, May 18 county, state and federal agencies reminded those of us who live within the Wildland Urban Interface to complete the clearing of defensible space around our homes by June 9.
Many recall the 300-foot whorls of flames that skipped across tree tops, then flew over Boy Scout Road in Lockwood Valley to race in the direction of homes in Pine Mountain, Lake of the Woods and Pinon Pines.
Fortunately, the Day fire was stopped, but those who have seen the speed of a wildland fire need no explanation of why state law requires that flammable vegetation and debris be cleared a minimum of 100 feet around homes and outbuildings.
Starting this week, campers and picnickers in the forest will need to obtain a free U.S. Forest Service permit for any fire, including cooking stoves with a fuel canister.
If you saw the alleged arson blaze rush from Hungry Valley up Frazier Mountain Park Road, destroying power poles all along the way, or still notice the charred scars from a lightening fire on Tecuya Ridge, “Be Fire Wise, and Fire Safe” is more than a slogan.
This is part of the May 21, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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