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Got an email which said I should do a short item “about what it was like in 2003 in the mayor’s office during the fire and what public officials might learn from that experience.”

I served four years on the Valley Center Fire Protection District Board of Directors as well as having been in the Mayor’s office during the Cedar fire. I would not presume to ever give fire people advice on how to do their job. As to the elected officials — I am sure they are doing the very best they can. What I can say is this — everyone get out of the way of the fire guys and let them do their job.

During the Cedar fire, and shortly thereafter, there was a lot of second guessing. One guy talked about having Navy people along I-15 putting out fire embers and all kinds of thing that amounted to “shuda and oughta.” But as one fire guy I knew said “We could have put an army in front of that fire and all we would have had was crispy soldiers.”

There are people out there putting their lives on the line, some of them my friends. God help them all and all the people in the fire area. This will be finished when the wind changes and not before.

— JOHN KERN

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