Summit County learn from Southern California wildfires (letter) |

Summit County learn from Southern California wildfires (letter)

I am going to go out on a limb here, but I would posit that few of the signatories to the petition aiming to curb clear cutting in Summit County have ever lived in Southern California. I lived there for 33 years and witnessed firsthand (from both ground and air) the devastation caused by wildfires. It is abundantly clear that defensive space will result in saved structures.

And I would take grave exception to Howard Brown’s statement in a recent letter, “We’ve already cut all the areas … justified on defensible space….” While living in California, I recall going to bed one evening when a fire had just broken out adjacent to highway US 101. That night the fire ran all the way to the Pacific Ocean, taking many homes with it. With large fires and heavy winds, defensible space needs to be huge.

If the people who are so overwrought with emotion think that clear cutting destroys the landscape, come up to my neighborhood. It was clear cut in 2009 and here we are, five years later, and it looks just fine. Lots of ground cover, flowers all summer, hundreds of aspen trees growing, and plenty of wildlife. Ground cover reclamation takes time. I think those pressing this petition need a little longer time horizon. Grumbling because your favorite trail will be disturbed for a couple of years is rather short sighted. If you can’t figure out where else to hike in Summit County, give me a call.

Charles Pitman


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