By Katrina Russell
Reprinted with permission from the East County Community Action Coalition (ECCCAC)
May 6, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--At a recent ECCAC meeting I learned some news that I found to be completely disturbing. The gal sitting next to me mentioned that she was finally about to get a manufactured home on her property after losing her home in the Cedar Fire in 2003. Only now she could not get Home Owners Insurance. The reason given to her was that she was in a High Risk Fire Zone and additionally, “due to the proximity of the Sunrise Powerlink to her house.”
As I listened to this news I could feel my mouth hanging open – in shock and disgust. Soon I realized that EVERY person at my end of the table had lost their home in the Cedar fire – just as I had. While the notion that those of us who have already gone through such life-changing loss were the same ones who were in the fire path again was not new to me, however this news renewed my anger.
I started thinking…remembering, that after the fire, our elected officials were quick to come to the news cameras to tell us all that there would be investigations to see where the break-downs occurred during the Cedar Fire. We were led to believe that “they” cared.
But knowing what we know now, and remembering that LIVES werelost in the Cedar Fire, it made me so angry that some of the same people would support a project which it is known will increase the likelihood of another catastrophic fire. That is unfathomable to me. It would be one thing if we had NO other options and it was for the greater good of the community – however this is NOT the case. All of this selective memory of the horrendous impacts of the fire is something we must NOT allow to continue.
My children are all now young adults and I know, just like for myself – on a hot day, when the wind is up and we smell a fire, our stomachs tighten and we have to struggle to find composure…DO NOT FORGET.
I urge everyone to please share the information about this project with your children.