We asked the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council Board of Directors some questions about the radical new fire-abatement laws being worked on at their last meeting. We are hoping for answers.

Have you done a cost assessment? Have you analyzed the project to determine its total cost to this community? A large expense will be shouldered by each and every homeowner. How much?

Have you done an environmental assessment? Can you tell us the number of trees and bushes you will tell us to remove. Thirty feet around every house? How many trees?

You are asking us to make a new payment for an entire staff of inspectors to inspect and re-inspect us. We are already paying. We pay our fire department to do this and to keep our neighborhood fire-safe.

Should we double-pay for these services? (Please see Town Crier article of Oct. 23, statements by officials Brandon Smith and Patrick Reitz and compare with last week’s statements.)

Have you done a study on side effects, such as flooding, land-slides or erosion damage caused by clearings?

Have you made funds available for the elderly and poor that are clinging to their homes? Have you made an affordability study?

Are you discussing this with real estate professionals? You are talking about major changes to every neighborhood’s landscape. What will this mean to an already shaky real estate market?

After we pay for this and do all these things, will it make us any safer in the type of wildfires Western states have been experiencing?

Because every home will be affected for many years to come, shouldn’t we be allowed to vote on it. Why not a public vote, not just “at least one town hall meeting” as your MCFSC president suggested. This is weighty stuff. Not just a noisy town hall meeting. Why are they afraid of a vote?

Norm Cassen
Pine Cove