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Friday, October 26, 2007

Red Tape and Homeowners helped Wildfires

From wildfires to hurricanes, we need changes in government and private rules and codes to protect our property in future natural disasters.

The California fires could have been stopped had it not been for government mismanagement and lack of common sense by homeowners. Texas faces the same issues that need correction.

In the early stages, before the wildfires and winds had become dangerous, critical time was lost because of silly rules that kept aircraft grounded until a California "fire spotter" could be on board.

By the time they got there, the aircraft were grounded due to high winds and the fires grew out of control. So much for "being prepared" for a homeland security issue that is an annual event. Next year there will be more drought, dry grass and strong Santa Ana winds blowing across California.

Another writer points out that our policies on wildfires, and lack of common sense preparedness by homeowners who let dry brush grow right up next to their multi-million dollar homes.

Moral? Both government and individuals need to make some changes to avoid future damages. Get rid of the fire spotter rule and get homeowners to clear brush from around their homes.

Not to leave our own area out of this homeland security critique: The U.S. coastal zones, including Texas, need to establish "Miami Dade" building code standards. Builders can put up million dollar condos on Clear Lake (Houston--spitting distance from the Gulf of Mexico) whose windows will blow out once hit by debris or winds in excess of 75 mph!

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