Our heartfelt thoughts went out to the people of Paradise last year and at the same time it struck fear in our own hearts. Now, fire season is upon us once again and what are our plans for evacuation? The “Fire Awareness” pamphlets that were distributed to citizens show I-5 as our escape route.
Therein lies the problem. Road construction going south on I-5 is one lane for 5.6 miles between Mount Shasta and Dunsmiur. On Sunday July 7 traffic going south was backed up past Weed Airport and delayed for 1 1/2 hours. If a fire breaks out we will not have 1 1/2 hours to flee.
Perhaps it’s time for the citizens to kindly ask Caltrans to reveal and print their plans of escape in case of a fire.
1) How will Caltrans create open lanes for fire crews and emergency personal to reach us?
2) Has Caltrans coordinated with the highway patrol and other local agencies?
3) Has Caltrans created an extra escape lane, even if it’s in the dirt?
The middle of an emergency is not the time to figure out a plan. The time is now.
We urge Caltrans to print their plan in our local newspaper.