Buffer zones could help prevent wildfires
Another catastrophic fire requiring over 250,000 people to evacuate their homes with little notice to save their lives. While we pray for all affected, we need to look closely at what can be done to prevent these types of situations from happening.
Public land policies do not mesh with zoning policies regarding public safety. Extreme environmental and conservation groups litigate for limited active management of public lands, while growing communities allow for ever more expansions that border public lands. Climate change and drought have been contributing factors but are not new, we have been dealing with both forever, while little has been done to deal with the public lands surrounding our communities.
Defensible spaces need to be established along escape routes and around entire communities. According to the Forest Service, embers can travel over a mile and ignite fires; if that is so, then the buffers should be in excess of a mile deep and thinned to a point that a fire can’t get into the crowns of the trees and continue to spread.
Jackson County should pass an ordinance establishing fire buffer zones that can stop forest fires from burning our communities. We are all at risk.