Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007 | This is the most rational story that I have read to date about this event. It is the only solution to these fires and I urge the officials to study this and refine it where needed and use this strategy in the future. Several other thoughts: Abandon the “shelter in place” concept for future development planning; it is not in the scope of human experience to stand in the face of a firestorm and people will flee out of instinct. Second, forget having another layer of bureaucracy known as the “County Fire Department.” If it is not already obvious, it should be that the largest part of the budget for fire services is wage/benefit, both active and retired, not equipment. The most effective weapon against fire is not the chief but the seasonal firefighter. Third, use funds to develop a firebreak grid in off-season that would be a permanent feature of the backcountry that would enable access and a first line of defense in wildfire events. Fourth, stop buying so much expensive “urban” firefighting equipment and go for lighter, more maneuverable trucks. The same goes for aircraft, whose use is restricted by visibility and weather conditions.

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