Evacuation complainers need to stop


Last updated 11/29/2007 at Noon

Golly, when are these people going to stop complaining about our mandatory evacuation and give credit where credit is due?

We were evacuated four days and spent two nights in our car. It was not pleasant. But when we did get to sleep, it was without worrying that we were going to miss a notification, not be able to drive out or perish during the night!

Many chose not to evacuate. The safety of emergency responders who might be called on to rescue those who had refused to obey an evacuation order and the fair distribution of scarce personnel resources suggest that people who defy evacuation orders impose burdens on others.

Our reasons for evacuating were simple: Fallbrook is loaded with two-lane roads. Our firefighters needed all the clearance possible when fighting these fires! They did not need to be maneuvering around those who chose to disobey the order to leave or chose to leave later, when the danger was imminent.

Law enforcement needed to be available for traffic control, securing devastated areas and deterring looters; neither needed to be spending valuable time going house-to-house again notifying 48,000 residents to evacuate. How many looters could have been stopped if law enforcement were not duplicating their original efforts?

Have any of these “complainers” been on Highway 76 during the work hours? How about in a panic situation with fires, driven by 70 mph winds a hundred yards behind them and no place to go because our two-lane roads are doubling as parking lots?

Although mistakes may have been made with the initial response of the Strike Teams, we were evacuated for a reason: to keep us safe! Hot spots are a real threat!

Have the “complainers” forgotten about the disastrous second flare-up in the Gavilan fires of several years ago when 48 homes were lost?

I say “thank you” to all the firefighters, police and other emergency workers who did exactly what we pay them to do: everything humanly possible to keep us (and their own families) safe!

Terri Walsh


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