Mountains are beautiful, aren't they? But living in them comes at a price. Even a naturally- functioning, non-human impacted mountain ecosystem poses difficulties. Snow, bears, fire, just to name a few. But when you consider an ecosystem that has been so impacted by human folly, from years of fire suppression, to early uncontrolled population growth, to well-intentioned but misplaced regulations, you have a recipe for disaster. Mom and Dad had to make a decision, to have their mountain house IN the mountains, or NEAR the mountains. They chose near. Even the valley they decide upon, they had to consider flooding, so their house is up off the valley floor, with this magnificent view of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, and Lake Tahoe just right over the top. This last week, they were thankful of their decision. South Lake Tahoe burned. 200+ homes, the lives and hopes of so many families, up in smoke. Some watched their history and past burn up on national news. Our little valley filled with smoke and ash, like Mount St Helens.
People make their choices. They choose to live in a fire prone area. They choose not to clear a fire break around their homes. But they should also expect their government agencies to do their part. Keep the forests from being too over grown, clear the brush, conduct controlled burns. After such a catastrophe, I hope the people learn. But it has happened before, and it will likely happen again. So sad.