One factual correction. Cuyamaca Peak is not the high point of San Diego County. That distinction goes to Hot Springs Mountain, near Warner Springs, which is 21 feet higher than Cuyamaca.
Most Likely To Burn
We can all sit idly by and allow Mother Nature to wreak its havoc in the future, or we can actually do something demonstrable now to prevent the recurrence of such future firestorm devastation!
I wholeheartedly concur with Geoff Bouvier (“Way Too Many People Live Out Here,” Cover Story, July 24) that far too many people in the aggregate “live out here,” when compared to the total population of San Diego. Proportionally, however, it’s actually a rather small percentage.
After this past October, fires ravaged San Diego County. I understand two thirds of the area burned by the 2003 Paradise Fire and one quarter of the 2003 Cedar Fire were consumed again.
The history of San Diego chronicles firestorms being a common occurrence in the late 1800s. The 70-mile-wide County of San Diego is reported to be the most fire-prone environment on earth!
What can we do? What should we do? We can make a “null decision” — a positive decision to do nothing — or if we’re more responsible, we have the capability to deter and greatly reduce the impact of these firestorms in the future.
How and where do we begin? Before the start of the 2008 regrowth period, we should establish a fixed three- to five-mile-wide firebreak inland, north to south, border to border. We’ve already unnecessarily dillydallied for far too long in seriously addressing our omnipresent firestorm problem.
All of the unpopulated areas in this strip would be made sterile — similar to what the Romans did (salted) to the city of Carthage after Carthage was destroyed — and maintained permanently without vegetation. In addition to ground-control operations, crop duster-type airplanes and other aerial firefighting types of equipment would/should blanket the remainder of the terrain.
In addition to the 2.9 million citizens who deserve this protection, San Diego also has the largest population of endangered animal species and plant life in the U.S. Preventing these firestorm disasters would be for their survival too!
We all know the cycle of nature’s fire rampage will roar back again in San Diego County. We can do nothing and have history keep repeating itself, or with stellar leadership by implementing the foregoing plan it will significantly reduce future San Diegan firestorm threats. Time is of the essence.
Fred Harden III
It Sounds Bad
After reading “Off-Road on Private Land” (“City Lights,” July 24), I felt I had to respond. My sons and I have been off-roading at Ocotillo Wells for years, and I taught them to be responsible desert users. Two years ago I was speaking with an old friend who has a trailer in Ocotillo Wells and is out there almost every weekend. She told me that some “Iranian guy” had bought some property and was fencing off popular off-road sites. She related how her and her partner were tearing down the fences and vandalizing his property, and others were organizing to do the same. I was incredulous! This was a side of her I had never seen before. I asked, “So this guy legally bought land and is trying to protect it, and you’re vandalizing his property to drive him out?!” She got quiet with the sudden realization of how bad that sounded.
Now I see that the gentleman received no help from our legal system (what a big surprise) and is now guilty of protecting his own land! This is a travesty of justice. Mr. Inn should be exonerated and have his legal fees paid by the system that was supposed to protect him.