Regarding Bill Hocker's comments regarding Soda Canyon Road (“A decision in the face of evidence,” April 13): As a former resident of 3150 Soda Canyon Road for 43 years, I felt that Mr. Hocker's comments are of valid concern.
My family purchased our home site of four acres and later purchased the adjoining four acres so we could have a rear entrance to our home. At that time, Soda Canyon Road was an unpaved gravel road from Loma Vista to the top of the hill.
Even though the road has been paved and widened and straightened over the years, it is still inadequate to accommodate traffic that has been ordered to evacuate while fire fighters and their equipment are driving up to the fire.
Our family experienced several fires, in spite of the fact that I had no trees or brush near our house, thanks to a small herd of goats and other animals. The most severe experience was the 1981 Silverado fire because I was not permitted to drive up to our home and I knew my wife was home without a car. I was picked up by a neighbor who was allowed to go up because he lived near the bottom of the road and he gave me a ride up to my home. Now my wife and I were home with no car in which to evacuate.
When the fire was dangerously close to our home, we ran down the back driveway and were picked up by the last car that made it down. They dropped us off at Soda Canyon Store, and since I was a member of the Soda Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, I was picked up by a fellow firefighter and given a ride back up to our home. Fortunately, I was then able to put out fires as they started near the house and our home was saved.
I am not talking about tourism or increased tax base or the sale of items. I am talking about human life in danger of death. I truly hope that the Board of Supervisors re-studies the facts and reconsiders. Or that the Superior Court puts a temporary restraining order until all the facts are revealed.
If we haven't learned anything from the Paradise Fire and the Camp Fire, we will continue to experience these disasters and loss of life.
Raymond C. Martinez
El Dorado Hills, California
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