Our District is Burning …

Jessica Morse, Democratic candidate for CD04, posted the following statement on her Facebook page on 8/2/18 and now the fires are even worse.  I’ve reposted it with permission below.

I’d like you to encourage you to read her issue statement on fire from her website. Other issue statements on everything from healthcare, education, and jobs & economy (and more) are also posted.

If you haven’t been watching, Google has an excellent map to track the fires with links to the CDF information.

Our District is Burning.  Three new fires prompted evacuations yesterday in El Dorado County and burned 700 acres in Placer County.  A neighbor from Pollock Pines, Don Ray Smith, was killed while fighting the Carr fire — a fire so hot it created a fire toronado.  The Ferguson Fire has shut down Yosemite for more than a week and claimed two lives: Brian Hughes of Squaw Valley, who leaves behind a pregnant fiance, and Braden Varney of Mariposa, who leaves behind a wife and two young children.

My heart is broken for those who’ve lost their homes, seen their communities ravaged, and made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our neighbors.

But what drives me to comment is that these fires are preventable.  Wildfire is not just a natural disaster, it’s a political disaster.  We know why they rage: clear cutting at the turn of the century and a century of fire suppression policy has led to overly dense forests.  We need leaders who will invest in fire prevention and support innovative solutions to offset the costs of fire thinning.

Investing in fire prevention would have dramatically diminished the devastation we are experiencing this week by thinning our forests, finding uses for skinny trees and forest waste, and issuing thoughtful permits for grazing and selective logging.  These solutions would not only keep our community safe, they would create local jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Up in Tahoe, the mountains are barely visible above the layers of smoke.  Even those not directly in the fires’ paths have to keep their children inside, and many of our neighbors are still evacuated and unsure if they will even have homes to return to.

Protecting ourselves from future disasters starts with changing our leadership.  I’m commited to fighting for smart, proactive solutions for fire prevention.

 – Jessica