Great Hinckley Firestorm; History As a Reminder

I caught a column in our local paper this Sunday written by Daniel James Brown. Daniel is the Author of “Under a Flaming Sky,” a book detailing the historic Hinckley Fire, a fire that took the life of his great grandfather.

Daniel suggests we can expect more wildland fires like the Angora Fire due to expansion of the wildland urban interface.

It’s inevitable another town or village will succumb to fire. It happened in Hinckley and happened in San Diego County in 2003 when the Cedar Fire claimed thousands of homes. The devastating Aspen Fire burned 84,000 acres and claimed almost 400 homes in the community of Summerhaven Arizona on in 2003. The fire was fueled by a policy that prohibited the removal of even downed and dead wood.

One of my best friends, a retired CDF fire captain, a true warrior and one of the best in the business (ever) believes the town of Cambria California is setting itself up for disaster due to the tree hugger crowd refusing to allow thinning. The town I fear will burn is Oakhurst California. Oakhurst is not populated by reactive environmentalists, people can generally thin at will, their problem is topographical considerations. It sits in a bowl, few roads in or out and many inhabitants are new to the mountains and possess very little knowledge about fire.

There are no links available to Daniels article, an oddity these days. I plan to read Under a Flaming Sky someday soon. History teaches us lessons, we don’t always listen.

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Mike Morales

Retired Cal Fire/CDF Fire Captain

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