Today, I am reading the front page of our local paper about folks rebuilding homes destroyed in the the fire our town experienced on August 30th. 63 homes were lost and open brush area burned very fast. Right into town. On page A5 there is an article about a fire safety online petition having to do with funding of brush reduction on federal land adjoining the city. Then there is the letter to the editor on page A4 asking the county to please reinstate the chipper service.
This is a high-risk wild fire area. We have 3 acres to maintain (which here in the foothills is not huge), however we must clear brush away from our homes for 100 feet (defensible space) or we are in violation of California Department of Forestry and CAL-Fire regulations. In order to do this, Garth clears what he can with his chainsaw and tractor, then he drags it up to our road making huge piles of brush and tree limbs. The County Chipper Service comes by with a chipping machine that grinds all this up and shoots it back onto our land. We then compost the chips or use it for mulch.
If there is no chipper service then we are going to have to try to burn it bit by bit when burn restrictions are lifted. Now....that sends smoke into the air, no compost or mulch for us and there is built-in risk of creating a wild fire....which is why we have to limb-out and clear our property in the first place creating these huge piles. We could spray our property so nothing grows....only slightly better that setting the county on fire.
You can see that we have piles on either side of a road that runs through our property nearly 4 feet high!
So....why can't homeowners pay for this service? We would gladly do so. Multiply this dilemma by thousands of homes and properties in Placer County and the result is a catch- 22 that I simply don't understand.
Our county extends from Lake Tahoe to Sacramento. Huge and diverse. Chipper service is not a big deal in downtown Roseville or maybe Tahoe City where the money and political base resides.
If I end up publishing this post it will be because I can't let it go. I may send it to the county, the supervisors, the newspaper or maybe God, but this move is about the dumbest thing I have heard since this morning's national news.