Last year I realized that I might lose my house due to wildfires. Siskiyou and the surrounding counties are at severe risk for catastrophic forest fires. Northern California has had five major fires in the last five years. Our climate is hot, dry and windy during the summer, which is perfect for wild fires. We are at higher risk for catastrophic damage to property and loss of life from fires than from any other cause.

We need comprehensive plans and regulations covering how to decrease the risk of fires, to limit the spread of fires, to make our structures safer from fires and to make escape routes well known and safe. The local Fire Safe Councils were designed to do this, but very few people know about or use them.

I recommend the City Councils and the County Board of Supervisors select groups from each city and the county to determine the major risk factors and to implement realistic plans to protect our citizens and our property. These groups should be either composed of, or closely coordinated with local Fire Safe Councils. We need strong local support, strong enforcement and good funding to make this effective. This will be expensive and require a lot of work and serious enforceable regulations.

The alternative to this is to wait for our towns to burn.

Neil Posson

Mount Shasta