Today, I sent out the following email to our Trout Club residents. I thought that in the interest of staying connected between our two vital San Marcos Pass communities, I would post my letter on the MET forum. Thanks for the great work yesterday above and below the Party Pull Out! Curious, if anyone knows anything about the memorial to MOM that was recently placed there? Here you go:
With official Fire Season starting this Monday, I am vey appreciative of recent brush clearing done in our area.
Santa Barbara County Fire Marshall Rob Hazard's continued commitment to reducing fuels above the Trout Club. This has been a godsend!
The impressive amount of brush clearing done above the Trout Club by the residents of #41 and #42.
The Painted Cave Mountain Ember Team's extensive work done on Painted Cave Road. Yesterday, they had a large team working above and below the first big (party) pull out on Painted Cave Road.
Recent work done on the entrance/exit road and the trail to the creek.
The excellent work done by many of our residents on their individual properties.
Looking ahead, I would like to ask the Trout Club to put significant attention into reducing fuels between the entrance/exit road and the water tank road. After we moved back into our new home in 1991, I worked for more than five years bringing down and trucking out burnt brush. Over the years, the Trout Club has done a good job keeping the brush load at bay.
Here is my concern. If there is a fast moving, wind driven fire that breaks out at night above us, when everyone is asleep, we could be trapped. This fear is the main reason we installed our fire suppression sprinkler system. Sheltering in Place defensively could be our only option. The basic issue for me is that there are WAY TOO MANY EMBER MAKERS along our only way out.
Long before we lost our first home in the Trout Club, sundowner driven fires have been reality for Santa Barbara. Since the Gap Fire of 2008, we have had fires regularly threaten us. Now add in climate trends that seem to be heading us into to a mega drought accentuated by climate change. It would be a very good idea to progressively reduce the ember makers along our only road out. This will take a few years to accomplish---step by step. We can do it!
P.S. Everyone should have received from Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig his pamphlet entitled Wildfire is Coming. Are You Ready? The first page, reads, "if you become trapped" and has specific suggestions for survival.