Controlled burn scheduled at MCAS Miramar

The Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Fire Department has announced it plans to conduct a controlled burn of dead brush along Aqueduct Road in East Miramar on Sunday, June 9 in order to limit the risk of wildfires this summer.

Smoke from the fire is expected to be visible along the 15, 52, and 163 freeways, as well as in local communities extending eastward to Santee.

While a final decision on whether or not to ignite the blaze will be based on weather conditions over the weekend, the department is hoping to alert as many community members in advance so as to limit the number of unnecessary emergency calls.


Another controlled burn? Based on the weather conditions? Oh, and we all know the weather and more importantly, the wind, never does anything unpredictable, does it? Great.

Isn't this how the fire out in Anza Borrego got started last week? And wasn't it a controlled burn that started one of the major fires last year? What is wrong with these people? Doesn't anyone simply cut down brush anymore? Chop it down and bring in the goats!

Who in their right mind, knowing the likelihood that a single errant spark or ember can ignite a major fire, would run the risk of having a "controlled burn" when there are other ways to remove the fuel? Fighting fire with fire, when there is no fire to start with, is not the way to go.

Keep your house hoses handy, folks. This could be, as Yogi Berra is famous for saying, "deja vu all over again."

The concept of controlled burning isn't a bad one. Yet, over and over, the so-called fire protection agencies start the fires and then lose control. About a decade ago, a small burn turned into a conflagration that came close to wiping out Los Alamos, New Mexico and its hush-hush labs. Yes, it happened again last week in our own east county. If they were burning some vegetation that had a boundary around it, such as a big highway or river that the fire could not jump, that would be one thing. Even an old firebreak around the area would offer some assurance that the burn could be kept in a confined area. But it seems that more often than not, there are no such natural boundaries. In this case the risks are probably fairly low, but if the area to be burned is loaded with old vegetation dating back fifty or more years any burn is dicey. Gamblers, beware

It always seems like a good idea...until it's not. Surely there is a better way.

We have state lockups, such as Donovan, full of bad dudes serving long sentences. The state claims that having enough to keep them busy would be impossibly expensive. So they sit and, now that they're not permitted to lift weights and get buffed up, get fat and utterly unfit. Might they be used as brush-clearers who head out with tools and cut the stuff down? Then it could be chipped and spread as mulch in areas that would benefit. Less "greenhouse gas" too.

Good idea but I'm sure someone would complain about the "chain gangs" being used for labor.

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