Readers write: Swatting fires |

Readers write: Swatting fires

Lately in the media there’s been a lot of tut-tutting about those selfish, foolish, and irresponsible Big Sur homeowners ignoring evacuation orders to stay behind and defend their homes. In fact, that’s the standard official and media position regarding every California-Nevada wildfire.

Guess what, in the land down under, which has an equally serious wildfire problem, the powers-that-be have decided that in most cases it’s better strategy to support homeowners staying behind and swatting out the spot fires. They even publish “The Homeowner’s Bush Fire Survival Manual” advising homeowners on protective clothing and the like. A copy is available at Not only does it contain detailed advice not found in U.S. wildfire literature for civilians, it’s also interesting how much less nannyish disaster management is elsewhere than here in the land of the free and home of the brave.

John Reece