.Letters to the Editor: Homes and Forests

My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a home or loved ones during a fire. That must be one of the most devastating, terrifying and disorienting experiences anyone can go through.

At the same time, I am alarmed by Jane Broughton’s response (Open Mic, March 10), which I believe is not based on the latest science.

Scientists from around the world have pleaded with world leaders to stop cutting forests in the name of fire protection and public safety. Increasingly the science is showing that the best way to protect homes and communities from the flying embers that have caused most of the devastating home fires of recent years is by “home hardening” and creating defensible space immediately around homes and communities.

The science is showing increasingly that clearing of forests miles from communities is actually counter-productive, doing nothing to protect homes and a great deal to damage valuable forest ecosystems, which protect our watersheds and provide essential wildlife habitat. Thinning did nothing to protect the town of Paradise from the Camp Fire.

A major cause of fire is climate change; we need to stop greenhouse gas emissions and “draw down” carbon out of the atmosphere. According to international climate scientists, one of the best ways to do this is to capture carbon in large trees, and the best way to do this is by protecting existing forest ecosystems.

Let’s learn from the tragedies of the Camp, Woolsey, Thomas and Tubbs fires and implement activities that maintain our forests unlogged and protect our communities.

The issue that needs to be addressed is community and home protection, not increasing logging of our forest ecosystems.

Jenny Blaker, Cotati

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