Letter to the editor: Road clearance

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

I would like to address the issue of the lack of road clearance regulation here in Siskiyou County. It is my understanding that at the present time we have no rules, regulations or laws about private property owners clearing brush and other flammable material away from roadways. I know regulation can be a bad word to many folks here in Siskiyou County, but I believe that public safety far outweighs any property rights issues. For example, I live in Hammond Ranch and everyone on our road does a pretty good job clearing brush and such off the roadway except for one person who lives near the bottom of the road. If there were a fire we only have one way in and one way out, and with a bottleneck of overgrown manzanita and other brush at this property people could be trapped and die because of one property owner’s lack of preventive action.

It’s not right that people’s safety should be jeopardized because of property owners who won’t do basic cleanup and clearing. After the past two fire seasons we have seen what can happen when roadways aren’t cleared. Many people died in the Paradise fire because they could not escape, because the roads were clogged up with trees and brush on fire and died in their cars trying to escape. Many counties in California have laws and regulations on the books concerning this matter and it’s time Siskiyou County joined them with some common sense regulation on the amount and distance of brush clearance for all roads within the county (city, county and private).

This isn’t a republican or democrat issue or a liberal or conservative issue – it’s a public safety issue! I believe there is overwhelming public support for regulation of this sort and the amount of opposition would be very small, albeit very vocal. Please don’t let a very loud minority keep you from doing what is right for our safety and well-being. We need regulation on the books now that is enforceable.

Davis Bowden

Hammond Ranch