I appreciate Chief Hawkins’ letter in the Idyllwild Town Crier on March 19, 2015. I have several concerns with the new fire abatement program. We’ve been waiting for these type of answers since June and public officials comments have been confusing.

1. Before trees and shrubs are cut down and trimmed for this law, I would like to see an Environmental Impact Statement declaring how this new program will affect the delicate balance of plants and animals that make this community so unique.

2. Please have a certified specialist (besides your organization or MCFSC) explain and show how this will lower the fire danger for all of us who live here and be better than the current fire abatement laws in effect. I recently talked to the state insurance adjuster, who is in the business of saving property from fire, who said my fire insurance rates will not go down if this new program is implemented. I do not understand why this new abatement program — that is supposed to lower my fire danger, and will cost me time and money to implement — will not make my fire insurance costs go down.

3. We also need to understand who is going to do these inspections and how much it will cost. We are looking at more than 4,500 inspections a year. I can’t believe you have an employee now who has enough free time to do these inspections and all of the required paperwork. We need to know the cost of any additional employees and a commitment in writing so we can budget for this law. My taxes are already high; I am not sure how I can afford another fee to pay for this program and still live here.

This fire abatement program has the potential to completely change life on this beautiful Hill and I hope it is implemented with a cost-effective and environmentally safe plan.

Scott Fisher
Pine Cove