Our community has suffered a serious loss with the recent Pack Creek (i.e. “Cinema Court”) fire. Thanks to teamwork, hard work and just plain luck, we had no loss of life. Given the close call, I wonder if we are ready to take the action recommended over 15 years ago to clear out brush and dead wood in Pack Creek?
The Wildland/Urban Interface inventory for our area found that Pack Creek and Mill Creek present the highest danger to our community from a natural disaster. A pedestrian/non-motorized trail along Pack Creek, from at least Old Spanish Road north to its intersection with Mill Creek down to the Colorado River, would serve as flood control, fire break, fire fighting access and commuter trail into town for all of Spanish Valley.
When I brought this up with property owners along the creek, many bemoaned the loss of privacy and private land. I’d encourage them to go to the bridge over Pack Creek near the bowling alley and look at the devastation that was once a neighborhood. We stand to lose millions of dollars of property, as well as lives if we continue the status quo.
At the very least we need to place a lien on properties along the creeks and, at time of sale, have the county or other entity purchase the needed right of way to build the firebreak. That way, at least in 30 years we may have enough in public holding to avoid catastrophe, if it’s not too late …