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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Big Bear
    Posts
    595
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    Default Re: Mandatory Evacuations?

    Well, my 2.7 cents- Evacuations mean nothing if they are not enforced, and they aren't, so we havce to plan accordingly. Unfortunately, stupidity will always be around and there will plenty of folks (we have over 300 million people in the U.S., think how many just 2% is!) who will do the wrong thing, and that is exactly what they pay us for. It isn't the folks who follow all the rules, live a common sense life, prepare and prevent disaster, etc... Most of us earn a living because of the 2%ers! I have had the education on the streets to see that even the Federal Government, when everything is in their favor in declaring an emergency and MANDATORY EVACUATIONS will not even support actual mandatory evacuations. Rather than have people leave their homes (and some that weren't in their own homes, but homes they adopted after the huriicane passed through), with no hope of water, power, or sewer for at least a month and no services for longer than that, these people were allowed to stay, with food and water delivered every day by guard chopper, so they wouldn;t go hungry. If we are going to go to an extent like this for people that really NEED to leave and are not removed, then we are kidding ourselves into thinking we will ever actually get 100% compliance from the public.

    In 2003, while working as a DivS on the Old Fire, I had received word that they were talking about evacuating Big Bear (where I live) if the fire got to a trigger point on a map. I told my wife about this in the morning and by 11am that morning, a look out called on the radio and said the fire had reached that trigger point (it hadn't and wasn't even close, but that's another story). I phoned my wife and let her know they were evacuating Big Bear and to gather the kids into the car and go. She told me SHE HAD TO GO GET THE KIDS FROM SCHOOL! If there is the possibility of a mandatory evacuation a few days into a fire, why would school even be in session? Why would the information not have more importance placed on it? Why would a delay like having kids in school and have to get them home, then out of the valley not have been discussed before giving an evacuation order? It's tough tot ake these orders seriously when the folks giving them out don't.

    One more thing, I have, in my career, stopped people from evacuating their home because leaving would have been more dangerous. Granted this was in an IA, but sheltering in place has been used successfully on several large fires to great success, including Esperanza. We need to come to a conclusion one way or the other, either they get out, or they stay, but the pre-fire work needs to be done on their properties for this to be a reality. Right now, we don't truly enforce either and we suffer the political fall out for it when the fire is over.
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  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    386
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    Default Re: Mandatory Evacuations?

    One more thing, I have, in my career, stopped people from evacuating their home because leaving would have been more dangerous. Granted this was in an IA, but sheltering in place has been used successfully on several large fires to great success, including Esperanza. We need to come to a conclusion one way or the other, either they get out, or they stay, but the pre-fire work needs to be done on their properties for this to be a reality.
    Esperanza is a very good example of why hazardous fuels reduction made Poppet Flats the ideal safety zone.

    http://www.wildlandfire.com/docs/200...-vs-poppet.pdf

    And I don't mean to brag (yes, I do) but the BLM CDD Fuels Crew received a national safety award in 2006 for all their hard work on that project. This may be a question for another thread, but if it's proven to work and the National Fire Mangement Office rewards their employees for a good job, why aren't we doing more of it?

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South Central Washington
    Posts
    2,778
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    Default Re: Mandatory Evacuations?

    I totally agree with education, supporting community programs that help to make a community or even sparcely populated areas safer but I do not agree with making "mandatory evacuations" mandatory. Fire is your world, not theirs. Martial Law gets met with resistance and dictating that people WILL leave their homes as opposed to choosing to take your advise of the seriousness of the situation and leave their homes, runs a little too close to it for a lot of folks. This is still America.

    Fire Geek, your message box is full!!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Big Bear
    Posts
    595
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    Default Re: Mandatory Evacuations?

    "Fire is your world, not theirs."

    Sammie- Fire is EVERYBODY'S world if fires can burn their homes and land. We aren't talking about martial law, and I don't know if I support mandatory evacuations either, but I think it is wrong to say somethjing is mandatory when it isn't. Kind of like saying every phone conversation is recorded, but not listened to by the NSA. The truth is what everyone needs, even on the fireground.
    Post Thanks / Like - 2 Thanks, 0 Likes
    Thanks danfromord, Sammie thanked for this post

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