As I checked the weather forecast this morning (Monday, June 29), and saw this year’s first red flag warning, I was starkly reminded that fire season has once again arrived.
As a long-time Angwin resident, I have concerns about our ability to safely and quickly escape a rapidly approaching wildland fire. This concern is heightened by my experiences as a former volunteer firefighter with the Angwin Fire Department.
A July 1, 2019 article in the Napa Valley Register, describing a “new road to safety” through Las Posadas State Forest, casts doubts on the ability of a passenger car to traverse it. After reading that article, I wondered why Old Howell Mountain Road isn’t maintained as another viable “road to safety.”
I agree that Old Howell Mountain Road needs significant repairs to be reopened to everyday traffic. However, it seems feasible that after no more than a day or two of work by a county road crew, Old Howell Mountain Road could be made available as an emergency escape route for Angwin residents.
I also agree with this Aug. 21, 2018 column by Star editor David Stoneberg, which makes a very solid case for the use of Old Howell Mountain Road as a pedestrian and biking trail.
I look forward to reading your views on this important issue.
Please accept my sincere appreciation for your work on our behalf, especially during these very trying times.
Editor’s Note: The writer addressed the above letter to Supervisor Diane Dillon. I have ridden my bike on Old Howell Mountain Road for years and I seriously doubt a county road crew could repair it to be usable in one or two days.
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