What can be done to reduce fire danger?

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To the Editor:

Last year, my husband and I joined 600 Mini Cooper owners who traveled from Oregon to Colorado. The greatest takeaway from our trip was the fire devastation we witnessed. Beautiful scenery was scarred by black hillsides and plains. Talking to folks that we met, they clearly had PTSD, and continue to feel vulnerable. When we returned to the Island, I was much more aware of the omnipresent fire danger we face. The Island Mitigation Report listed “fire danger” second among problems confronting us. Edgartown was listed at 10 out of 10, Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven at 8.

There will be a forum on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Hebrew Center from 6:30 until 8:30. We will have Barbara Sattler, an international leader from California, who experienced the trauma of fire and learned from community members, fire chiefs, and victims, religious leaders, and mental health professionals. She will explain what we can do to reduce the threat. We will have chiefs and administrators who can help us understand what needs to be done to deal with the issue. Shall we ask the Land Bank to change its charter so that it has funds to clear dead wood and fire ladders? Can we push for funding for the State Forest so that they can better maintain fire lanes and other areas? How can we deal with deadwood on our property?

Please come and strategize with us to lessen the fire danger.

Mardi Moran
Oak Bluffs