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Fun through the Eyes of Maggie Rose McGurk column

Sometimes taking pictures here is rather serious

Especially if it can prevent a fire disaster
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As we reported last Nov. 23 with pictures, dead weeds and dead trees plus wind and sparks equal wildfire!

My report came after witnessing the Santa Rosa and Napa fire disasters, and after hearing from media that Lincoln had similar conditions.

Here we are in mid-January 2018 and what has changed? 
You can see from my photos, taken last Saturday and Dec. 15, that a gigantic tree on the ground and dead weeds remain a potential fire hazard at Sun City Lincoln Hills.

The city of Lincoln removed the dead weeds. Mayor Stan Nader assures me that the city is working on removing its section of dead trees.

While it is great that we have seasonal rain falling over the area this week, large and dry trees still remain on the ground. Remember that when you start a fire in a fireplace with seasoned wood, the fire starts in a burst. The same could happen to the gigantic dry trees close to our homes. Dead trees are like torches.

 We need a plan to remove wild-fire fuel. Nothing has been done to remove this fuel from Sun City Lincoln Hills. Perhaps you might call or email Sun City Lincoln Hills Community Association executive director Chris O’Keefe. Ignoring this because of the wet weather, and with spring only a few months away when this cycle starts over again, only adds fuel to the fire, so to speak! 

Fire Chief Bill Hack told me that the city’s strategic planning meetings from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Friday at Orchard Creek Ballroom will discuss the fire danger issue. Hopefully, there will be more fire danger awareness and rules created for those who do not understand wildfire danger. Legislation and penalties to property owners who do not take the responsibility for cleaning away this fuel are needed.   

Thousands of residents in the Napa and Santa Rosa areas recently lost everything and some lost their lives! This condition is still present everywhere in Northern California and I see it around us here in Lincoln and Lincoln Hills.

We have also learned that smoke damage from the Santa Rosa and Napa fires damaged some schools and buildings that now must be rebuilt. This is another factor that needs to be considered when discussing this fuel situation. It is not just the fire but the resulting damage from it all.

 Gail Cirata, a real estate broker living here and formerly from Santa Rosa where she sold some of the homes that were destroyed said, “I was horrified to go through the Santa Rosa area and see the devastation. It was like a holocaust! I would not want to this to happen here!”

Don’t buy into the statement that a little rain will wet the grass and trees and that there is nothing to worry about. Dead grass and trees will dry when the sun returns, creating more fuel that can feed the wind/wildfire situation.

  In the Lake Tahoe area, you must remove dead weeds and dead trees. If you do not remove the fuel, it will be removed by the public works department and a bill will be sent to you for the cost. The dead wood has to be removed. Insurance companies are refusing to insure homes in Lincoln, Loomis, Rocklin and Auburn, just because of the conditions that have been allowed to exist. 

 So what have I learned? That we have allowed dead grass and trees to die and rot, thus creating a dangerous fuel potential that, with winds, could create a disastrous loss of property and loss of lives due to neglect. Officials and responsible agencies need to react before a predictable event happens, not after the event.

 

 - Maggie Rose McGurk

 

Maggie Rose McGurk of Maggie Rose McGurk Photo Art is a Lincoln resident, who goes everywhere with her camera. See more photos of Placer County life at maggiemcgurk.photoreflect.com. Contact her at facebook.com/mcgurkfoto or 543-5300.