An open letter to California political leaders:
Half of the state is in ashes, smoke or flames and all you are considering is giving the utilities a reduction in their liability?
Why don’t you pass some bills doing the following:
1. Providing more security forces to stop the arsonists from attempting any fires;
2. Toughening sentencing of convicted firebugs to life in prison without any parole and the death penalty if anyone dies in the fires they caused;
3. So-called accidentally starting fires would have the same consequences so lawyers cannot get them off the hook;
4. More money into researching and combatting beetle bark infestations in forests;
5. Thinning out dead trees by scientists trained in forestry management, not by lumber companies who are just itching to get into the backcountry, create more roads, and clearcut good timber as well;
6. Protecting displaced wildlife and restoring their habitat. Unfortunately they do not have insurance!
Sure these proposals will cost money, but look at all the billions of dollars these wildfires have cost us as well as the loss of human life and irreplaceable treasures.
Please let us know about what you plan to do. We need real help from our political leaders who are supposed to be protecting the public.
Patricia Bleha, a Carlsbad fire victim in 1996