The Change We Want.
The Supervisor We Need.
It has been nearly 120 years since a major catastrophic fire burned through North County. Another fire would leave devastating destruction in its path, similar to what happened in the Northern California town of Paradise in 2018. We are fortunate to have avoided the lightning strikes of August 2020 that burned through Mount Toro with the River Fire and the Santa Cruz Mountains with the CZU Lightning Complex Fire. We cannot continue to rely on fortune alone.
Monterey County needs to develop aggressive policies for wildfire prevention. Removing the thousands of acres of eucalyptus that destroy native habitat and represent a serious fire danger is one step. Another is to develop a county-wide chipping program so that residents have a convenient way to dispose of dead vegetation without the fire risk that burning creates or the carbon it adds to the atmosphere.
There are many reasons for the tremendous fire risk, but one of these is poor county policies. One example is how the county protects oak trees, which is an almost universally agreed-upon policy in principle. How the county goes about protecting oaks is the problem. The tree cutting regulations are confusing, contradictory and complicated and inhibit the removal of dead wood, prime fuel for a wildfire. The noble intent to protect the beautiful native oaks of our land is in fact creating the ever-growing potential of a wildfire nightmare that will destroy them. We must put some common sense into government to protect our lives, our property and our environment.