WE ARE NOT AGAINST MANAGED GROWTH
Editor, Times Advocate:
Excerpt from the Fire Evacuation Plan for Lilac Hills Development Revised June 1, 2015
…”Further, and of extreme importance, it is imperative that all of the residents make the decision to evacuate as soon as possible as the roadway limitations within and adjacent to the development could require more than two hours to complete the evacuation process based on nationally recognized road capacity standards and competing use of the roads by residents from other areas”…
In October 2003, San Diego County experienced severe wild fires (Cedar Fire & Paradise Fire) The majority of the people killed in those two fires, (Including my 16 year old daughter Ashleigh Roach) died in their vehicles or in the process of running from the fires. The unpredictability of these fires created such a hazard that the planning the residents had in place was not sufficient to prevent such loss of life.
In our family’s case we made most of the same preparations outlined in the above referenced “Lilac Hills Fire Evacuation Plan” (Ready-Set-Go), which were not sufficient for the Paradise Fire. The problem with the plan in my opinion Is that it is based on a typical “wild land” fire without wind, where clearing the recommended area around the homes and using fire resistant building materials would give the Fire Fighters the edge they need to protect life and property. However now you’re planning a community with a potential of 5000 new residents without adequate consideration of an evacuation plan that would prevent loss of life.
No we are not fire fighters and we are not against managed growth, however we have seen firsthand what happens during a disaster. We do not support a plan that puts unsuspecting people in harm’s way.
By the admission in the report that it could take “up to two hours to evacuate all the residence of Lilac Hills”, it is ridiculous to me that the County would even consider a development like this in the backcountry of San Diego, without adequate escape routes that would allow the residence to evacuate WHEN we have another wind driven fire like the Paradise or Cedar fires.