Controlled burns important in preventing fires

I was born in Santa Maria in the early 1940s and although I resided in southern California for about 30 years I have stayed connected with this area through my relatives.

For the past 32 years I have lived in the Santa Ynez Valley. When I was growing up I do not remember us having fires like we have had in the past few years. I do remember the landowners, ranchers and farmers, conducting controlled burns on their properties to lessen the chance of fire.

With all the current rules and regulations it is almost impossible for a landowner to conduct a controlled burn. The people opposed to the controlled burns were complaining that the landowners were letting the fires burn more of an area than they requested, in another words they were not controlling the burns. The opposition was also complaining about the smoke caused by the burns.

Since we no longer have controlled burns, we now have fires that last for weeks, polluting the skies with smoke, destroying homes and placing the firefighters in harm’s way. I would much rather see a controlled burn get a little out of control than live through the types of fires we are now seeing yearly.

The destruction caused by these fires is bad enough without factoring in the amount of money that is spent fighting the fires and the amount of water used that is coming out of our local lakes.

When is this state going to wake up, remove some of these restrictions, use some common sense and go back to allowing landowners to do controlled burns?

Mike Hadley

Santa Ynez

 

Speaking up on RV plan

City Manager Marc Bierdzinski has informed me the RV, boat and trailer ordinance revisit will be on July 27 at 6 p.m. Your input is critical at this meeting because Councilman John Connolly has resigned.

John changed his mind and elected to revisit the ordinance. His replacement was sworn in on July 10, just prior to revisiting the ordinance. The citizens of Buellton can hope Connolly’s replacement will be someone who will not support the mayor's position without first considering the financial hardship this ordinance imposes on every resident who owns an RV, boat or trailer.

To quote the Valley News, “Mayor Holly Sierra expressed reluctance to revisit the RV ordinance, indicating claims that the ordinance was instigated by and only benefitted a few residents were not true and that the council made the right decision …”

I disagree. I reviewed the pertinent city archives and this ordinance was introduced and rushed through within two weeks. Council members did not give Buellton citizens a chance to find out that it was on the agenda.

The mayor should represent the public and consider the well-being and interest of the city as a whole, and not let personal agendas or friendships get in the way of her job as a responsible administrator.

We need to address this issue with the city to show we care, and a great many of us are not in support of the restriction on our personal freedoms and do not approve of an additional financial burden on so many citizens.

Please speak on July 27, or at least show up to watch and listen and show your support. Anyone who has been collecting signatures for the petition needs to turn them in to me before July 23.

Larry R. Rankin

Buellton

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