Residents in the path of a fast-moving fire that broke out north of Boulder on Wednesday were told that their lives were in danger and they needed to get out â but only some heeded the warning, officials said Thursday.

“We were ordering people to leave their homes,” police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said of the 11,515 reverse 911 calls and dozens of door-to-door officer checks that were made to houses within the path of the Olde Stage Road and Neva Road fires.

But of the thousands who were warned of the impending danger, officials estimated Thursday that only 1,300 to 1,400 homes were actually evacuated.

“From what we can tell, the people who needed to leave, left,” said Barb Halpin, a Boulder County spokeswoman.

Halpin said the county contracts with the Longmont-based private company, Intrado Inc., which issues recorded messages to residents within defined zones during emergencies.

The first round of 150 calls began shortly before 2 p.m., when an electrical line downed by high winds destroyed a home at 7202 N. 45th St. and spread to a nearby field.

The message, Halpin said, “was essentially that there’s a fire in the area, take your stuff and leave.”

Less than an hour later, the company called an additional 10,842 homes from U.S. 36 east to 63rd Street, including the Lake Valley Estates and other smaller subdivisions, Halpin said.

That message, she said, was that “there’s a wildland fire, we’re calling for a mandatory evacuation. Don’t call 911.”

Because the grass fire was contained relatively quickly, Halpin said, it turned out the 10,000 or so calls for evacuation turned out to be “not as critical” as later calls for evacuation and many residents probably chose to stay put and brave the lingering smoke.

Shortly after a second large fire was reported in the area of Olde Stage Road â about a mile directly west of the first fire â the company made three more sets of calls to a total of 523 homes within a few square miles of the flames. Those calls included the Lee Hill and Dakota Ridge neighborhoods, Halpin said.

The areas that received the calls for evacuation, she said, were based on the speed and direction of the fire and the discretion of emergency dispatchers.

Only land lines and voice-over-Internet-protocol phones were called, because the company doesn’t have the ability to call cell phones.

Marcia Purdy, who owns a house and horses at 5075 Niwot Road, said she didn’t get a call because power in the area was out and she only had cordless phones in the house. She said she chose to stay home even though flames had traveled down a nearby ditch to the rear of her house.

“I’ve lived here 25 years and seen a couple fires,” she said. “This was the worst.”

The Intrado computer system that handled the messages called each number up to five times before giving up, and has the capability to log whether a message was left, if someone answered and listened to the whole message or if someone answered and hung up early, Halpin said.

Those logs, however, were not properly faxed to county officials, she said. The company’s servers also “crashed” when they tried to dial too many numbers at once, so the calls were sent out in smaller batches.

It wasn’t clear Thursday whether those issue had been resolved, she added, but no residents lost out on a recorded message because of the issues. An Intrado spokeswoman could not be reached Thursday by phone.

In addition to the calls, Boulder police and Boulder County sheriff’s deputies went door-to-door in some neighborhoods warning people to leave.

Still, some refused to go.

“We go to doors and we say, ‘you’ve got to get out,'” Halpin said. “If people say, ‘I’m going to stay and die in my house,’ we’re not going to haul them off.”

Sarah Huntley, a spokeswoman for Boulder police, said some officers did encounter stubborn residents.

According to police radio traffic on Wednesday, a firefighter sent to the Joder Arabian Ranch, located near the North Foothills Highway and Neva Road, reported that a woman there was refusing to leave the property even with “flames at the door.”

Boulder Sheriff Joe Pelle said Thursday that some homeowners who refused to leave worked alongside firefighters to create “defensible spaces” and spray buildings with garden hoses. Without that help, he said, some buildings might have been lost.

Archived comments

This whole idea of forced evacuations and never letting people back into the disaster area for their own safety is short sighted and why people don’t want to ever evacuate.Gustav taught people that if you leave you won’t be let back in, maybe for months, and it just spreads the problem around and bankrupts people by making them live in motels perpetually.Hell even if you stay and you’re self-sufficient with food, water, and a generator they will still try to force you out.

Sure if you move everyone out of an area the bureaucrats can claim there were no problems in this area of their responsibility, but this isn’t a solution.You can be sure I’ll ignore any mandatory evacuation order, and I don’t know anyone who would obey.


1/8/2009 5:58:05 PM

I have absolutely no idea what Nukes is talking about.

But I will say that when our neighborhood was evacuated 6 or 7 years ago for a wildfire, many neighbors did exactly as they were told.

They drove off amidst hoards of curiosity seekers roaming the neighborhood on foot, absolutely unimpeded by police officers or fire personnel.

Many homeowners returned to find their homes had been broken into.


1/8/2009 6:12:40 PM


you bring up a good point, I wondered if people would take advantage of this type of activity and start stealing…it doesn’t surprise me…pigs


1/8/2009 8:05:35 PM

Having only a Cordless phone is so stupid. Get one that plugs directly into your wall.It still works, even if YOU lose power.

1/8/2009 8:55:17 PM

what’s more important?You’re life or your things or the wildland firefighters lives?When people evacuate, it helps these brave men fight the fire without having to worry about people or having to risk their lives to save some stubborn person who doesn’t want to lose property.Evacuations are for the benefit and safety of the firefighters.They have a hard enough battle against the fire without having to sacrifice themselves for stupidity.


1/8/2009 9:26:57 PM

I should have said, evacuating helps these brave men and women.Either way, they are all wildland firefighters and all deserve great respect for what they do.Unfortunately, a lot of what they do is risk their lives to save someone’s house.


1/8/2009 9:32:20 PM

It’s not really about life vs. property, although the government bureaucrats love to give you that impression.After Katrina it’s all about avoiding a PR incident, plain and simple.

If you can keep remove everyone from an area then you’re essentially guaranteed there will be no PR problems in that area.Gustav was the first big test of this: no residents allowed in, no volunteer workers allowed in (all aid/reconstruction work was doled out in cushy contracts to private companies).

Basically everyone was removed and not allowed back no matter their circumstances for months on end, and lucrative contracts were just given away to connected people to do all the aid and recovery work.It’s an appalling, unreported event, but this is the new emergency management policy.

And that’s why I will never evacuate.


1/8/2009 9:53:22 PM


Do you even have a home to evacuate?


1/8/2009 9:57:24 PM

We received a call.We were 7 miles from the fire, which was west and south from our location.We prepared to leave, and had the cars loaded or nearly loaded, but the winds were clearly not carrying smoke or ashes in our direction until very late in the evening, and then only sporadically.Neighbors with horses did relocate them to the fairgrounds and elsewhere.It’s harder to move horses at the last minute.We only had ourselves and 1 cat!We talked with friends west of the fire, and they also received a call even though they were out of danger unless a significant shift in the wind, something not forecast.But they too were prepared to move if necessary.

Boulder County clearly was very conservative in making as many calls as they did.Without those calls, many who couldn’t see the fire or weren’t immediately downwind from the fire and hence didn’t smell the smoke would not have known about the fire and might not have prepared.Just because only 10% didn’t respond doesn’t mean that the 10% didn’t take appropriate action.

Also, remember that many homes in the area have multiple land lines, VOIP, fax, business lines, etc.So, the 11,000 calls may not and probably doesn’t represent 11,000 residences.

1/8/2009 10:16:15 PM

I’m rather torn on this issue. On one hand, this is a discussion about lives vs. stuff so that makes me want to encourage evacuations. On the other hand, there is the issue of the possible stealing, making the decision based on personal belief, your personal location, etc..

I am a student, but I grew up around two blocks from Lee Hill. Thank goodness my family and home was safe, but when I went up during the day to check on our pets, I remembered the Wonderland Lake fire a few years ago. Why are all those people flocking to the fire, and why is more not done to stop that?!? Ultimately I think that is the bigger danger and more of the problem. These are not people looking to help. They simply get in the way, and if there was some kind of emergency evacuation, no one would be able to get out from all the traffic. Decide to leave or not but don’t go drive around or cause more problems when people have real reasons to be afraid. It really irks me!


1/8/2009 11:06:58 PM

I’d rather be alive trying to get back to my home than dead in what’s left of it.

1/8/2009 11:36:46 PM

nukes is a homeless bum begging on pearl.


1/9/2009 12:44:50 AM

Yeah, Boulder conspiracy morons: evacuations are a government plot, like Katrina. Because local police and fire fighters are answering to George Bush in a secret underground command center, with orders to sieze your property for “fire fighting” but abandoning it later to roving bands of thieves.

But you’ll show them: you’ll die in your homes before you let a Boulder County Sheriff’s Deputy evacuate you! There’s that defiant western spirit.

Burn on!


1/9/2009 7:03:31 AM


You really must have amounted to nothing in your life to be so angry at everyone, and everything around you.Truly you must lack anyone in your life.So very, very sad.


1/9/2009 7:20:30 AM

Do we have the footage of the stable burning for the 85th time?Roll it again…


1/9/2009 7:21:42 AM

The calls are a good idea, they give people the the time and the option to leave if they want. If you leave, chances are you take things that have the most value to you: photo’s, family heirlooms, jewelry, irreplaceable items. Not TV’s, DVDs, electronics…. If stolen, all of that can be replaced by your insurance.


1/9/2009 8:04:06 AM

I brought up the burglaries during our previous evacuation because there is something inherently wrong with a system that orders residents to leave their homes yet allows non-resident curiosity seekers to roam freely in an evacuated neighborhood!


1/9/2009 8:14:09 AM

I lived through Andrew in South Florida. At that time it was assumed that the state would take care of the immediate situation. They knew the area, they knew the people and already had plans for evacuation. We had FEMA come in months later and we really didn’t care where he was or need the president.

Along comes Katrina years later and liberals b**** and whine because the federal government doesn’t save them from “The Big Bad Hurricane”. Even though the city is below sea level and has been since France owned the land. The city knew the levees wouldn’t keep out a Cat 5, have, since the 60’s. (By the way, before you ask where’s my data- I have a BS from Tulane). Bottom line you wanted the Government involved and now it is , with a vengence.

Evacuations are smart, they limit the variables that the rescuers have to deal with and if everybody does it. It is easy to know who’s the resident and who’s the looter. It is also cost effective, they don’t have to risk manpower,equipment, money and most importantly time, to save some moron “guarding his propoerty” with a garden hose (from the fire) and his trusty Red Rider BB gun. They are there for your best interest.

You let the Govt in, Let them do the job you told them to do and quit complaining. Evacuate when told to and you might live to see the next fire and not be killed in the current one.


1/9/2009 9:18:07 AM

The calls say, “There is a fire in your area.” they do not say where it originated from, which way it is headed, how fast it is moving, how far the fire front is from you, or how many acres it has burned. Yes, this is more effective than having an officer going door to door covering homes for 10,000 people, but not much. And there is a big problem with access to people who have no business being in the area, either as residents or emergency personal, in such a fire. In the Overland fire, only people were allowed up Left hand canyon who could prove they were residents there, no others. It was found in Katrina that a lot of people did not leave because they did not trust law enforcement officers to protect their property of they could not take their animals, a lesson Boulder county officers should have considered.

1/9/2009 9:26:26 AM

It is interesting how people on this comment board can be so negative to another. You are in the comfort of your own home. You have food, you have shelter, you have family, yet you ridicule someone like NukesinBoulder and say that person is sad.

I don’t know the individual but I have to say, there are quite a bit of selfish, cruel people who comment on this forum.Is this what Boulder is becoming? Or do you even live in Boulder??


1/9/2009 9:26:48 AM

If you live in the foothills/mountains and do not want to evacuate, then spend the money to equip yourself to defend your property from a wildfire….but if those efforts fail, please do not burden the emergency crews with your rescue attempt well after you could have gotten out.

Learn how to make your property defensible in a wildfire, but realize that in sustained high winds, absolutely nothing in the path of the fire will be “defensible”.


1/9/2009 9:53:48 AM


Look back on some of the comments nukes has made.Then let me know what you think.This “dude” has been kicking people that are down for a long time. Nukes is a very VERY sad individual.



1/9/2009 9:57:20 AM

” some homeowners who refused to leave worked alongside firefighters to create “defensible spaces” and spray buildings with garden hoses. Without that help, he said, some buildings might have been lost. “

Exactly why I didnt evacuate.Farmers help farmers…or firefighters in this case.In the old days you took care of yourself.I have a right to die in the attempt to save my house and animals.No authority shall ever supercede that.

” You let the Govt in, Let them do the job you told them to do and quit complaining. Evacuate when told to and you might live to see the next fire and not be killed in the current one. ‘

Sissy.Get your a** out there with a hose and shovel and get to work.A class 5 hurricane is not fightable.A wildfire is…

PS:Part of the hoards of onlookers driving around is because of a serious lack of accurate information.Instead of updated realtime maps or photos on Channel 8, there was Lisa Morzel talking about a porch addition on Mapleton for two hours from a meeting in December.Absolutely lame.People had to go out and monitor how close it was.


1/9/2009 10:00:53 AM

“And that’s why I will never evacuate.”

A lot of people had that attitude when Hurricane Ike was approaching Galveston. A lot of those people’s bodies either washed up on nearby islands or are still floating somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.

1/9/2009 10:05:47 AM

Comparing a wildfire to a class 5 hurricane is like comparing cancer to a cold.Go ahead – admit yourself to intensive care the next time you get a stuffy nose thats your business.

If you are not an able bodied person by all means evacuate.Or if your house is nestled in the trees and not savable.In case you havent noticed, a wildfire can be fought and a farm can be saved.Thats my choice…you are free to go sit in a gym and watch nine news…


1/9/2009 10:22:33 AM

“Comparing a wildfire to a class 5 hurricane is like comparing cancer to a cold. “

You’re right. You won’t be as dead if you get caught in a burning house as compared to getting washed away to sea.

1/9/2009 10:32:17 AM

” Boulder Sheriff Joe Pelle said Thursday that some homeowners who refused to leave worked alongside firefighters to create “defensible spaces” and spray buildings with garden hoses. Without that help, he said, some buildings might have been lost. “


1/9/2009 10:38:59 AM

Face it folks, there are those who think “nukes” is wrong, they expect the “authorities” to take care of them and their stuff, and they will be totally acquiescent and obliging whenever someone “in authority” tells them what to do.”wiseone” with his “did exactly as they were told” mindset is one of them.

Personally, I’m with nukes, and will take personal responsibility, thank you.Supply me with facts and maybe even a strong opinion (flee, you fools!), and I’ll take it into consideration, and then make a decision.

Gotta look at the big picture – the “authorities” are decrying all those who didn’t leave, but it’s clear from the NON-body count that ignoring them was not a bad idea.


1/9/2009 10:54:27 AM

Another note: I expect there to be a call for a LAW to punish people who disregard evacuation orderswiseone, whaddya think – jail time?


1/9/2009 11:00:08 AM

Of course, if you’re an able-bodied individual that knows what you’re doing and you’re going to fight the fire in concert with the firefighting crews, great. I’m sure there were people who volunteer to stay with the fire department in Galveston to help out when the storm was over.

But, if you’re just going to “ride it out” and think that the evacuation calls are just a bunch of crap or that you can put out the fire with your garden hose if it gets too close, then you deserve your status as a Darwin Award candidate.

Also, your “farmers help farmers” post appeared while I was writing mine and I hadn’t had a chance to see it. My post was directed to the NukesInBoulder crowd who thinks everything is a conspiracy and that the government wants him gone to rummage through his underwear drawer while he’s gone.

1/9/2009 11:00:09 AM

I grew up in rural California, just outside Yosemite Nat’l Park where there have been many wildfires outta control.We were approached by the Forest Service that we had to evacuate.Anticipating this might happen my mom had us kidsclear a larger than normal perimeter around our property and hose down our hose as best we could, while she collected the necessities (and family heirlooms) we needed to survive in case we lost everything.This was before the days of reverse 911 calls.Point is that you do what you can as a home owner to assist the firefighters and then get the hell out and leave the rest to the professionals.Fortunately we had some small amount of time to take care of all that we needed.

As people have said lives cannot be replaced, however, all material things can and home owners insurance covers most losses, unless neither of you has insured your homes.

The reason for onlookers is because those people are idiots and had no reasons to be up there at all.

My brother was an Alaskan Smoke Jumper and I can’t tell you how many times he had to rescue the ones who refused to leave until the very last minute then those individuals had the audacity to complain about them not saving their homes as they were to busy rescuing individuals such as Jakpott and Nukes.

Jakpott and Nukes may not want to leave, but you have to think about the potential lawsuits your relatives they could file for failure of your own stubbornness.

1/9/2009 11:18:42 AM

Did anyone in authority really expect homeless people to evacuate the shelter?


1/9/2009 11:29:18 AM

A person may be smart, but people are dumb, panicky, and chaotic.


1/9/2009 11:31:24 AM

Nugget:Yes, you are right.The calls were not particularly informative.Nor were they understandable.Our call was delivered quickly, without any repetition.My wife barely made out half of the message.The same breathless, rapid-fire call was repeated an hour later.At least we could understand that there was a fire danger.And it at least alerted us to the situation.The sheriff in the end said (paraphrasing), “The people who needed to leave left.”

I deciding whether to leave once we were prepared, we accessed the County’s site, all the news media, and friends.Finally, we drove closer to the fire to actually see for ourselves where it was located.The County’s site only had a map of the area where the warning went out, not a map of the fire.The latter would have been helpful, but frankly, I understand why it wasn’t there.If there was someone left in the office posting accurate maps who could have been on site helping to fight the fire, I’d opt for the latter.

The media was almost useless.The Camera at least had regular updates, but some of the information was misleading (e.g., “11,000+ evacuated”, “6000+ acres burned”) because it was based on the map referenced above and miscommunications at the heat of the moment.The rest of the media had lots of great pictures, lots of sensation and entertainment, but that’s all it was — entertainment.No useful information at all.Even this morning’s Denver Post had a map purporting to show the progression of the fire.It was a map instead showing who got called by reverse-911.Not the same!Only the Camera had the good sense to publish a satellite image, the only accurate view of the extent of the fire.

So, faced with inadequate information, and no immediate visual or olfactory cues, we prepared to leave, I drove west to see where the fire really was, and we decided to stay put.

1/9/2009 11:51:52 AM

I am a career firefighter who dwells on the property versus life safety issue every single time I respond to a fire or other disaster.I was also dispatched to this wildland incident and so have intimate knowledge of what happened that day/night.

Regardless of how much preparation one does with defensible space or other tactics to prepare for a wildfire, we consistently see that attempts to save property are often futile and sometimes deadly, for residents and firefighters alike.

Our mantra is “risk alot to save alot.”Alot does not generally include someone’s home, though ideally we would save both lives and property.

By ignoring calls for evacuation, no matter how mismanaged or cryptic the calls may be, you are putting your life, my life and all lives at risk for what amounts to a “roll of the dice.”Fire doubles in size every 30 seconds.We saw on Olde Stage fire behavior that is usually reserved for mid-summer fires.Fire movement at 50-60 feet PER SECOND, and of course the fire is dependent on so many variables that experienced professionals have a hard time figuring out the next move.

YOUR best move is to leave the area.Being a mountain home owner, I completely understand the conundrum.I own things that in some cases would never be replaced, momentos, etc., but I would much rather survive with my skin and bones intact than have a picture from Grammy in the late 80’s.

Please consider your and OUR safety when reacting to these sorts of things and keep a close eye out for idiots like “Nukes” or whatever the heck his name is.


1/9/2009 11:57:29 AM

Once again, a wildfire in a dense forest is a different beast than a grass wildfire in the plains.Landowners should have the right to choose to stay and fight if they feel able and as knowledgable as the firefighters themselves.I agree there are plenty of dopes out there and unfortunately the default is to cater to the dopes.I choose to stay because of the knowledge of my property (where the water is, ability to rig hoses, a tractor with a blade to cut a fire line, a chainsaw and rig with portable water).I take responsibility and back it up with equipment.Therefore, I choose to stay to protect my livelyhood and property rather than leave and collect insurance.Too many people have relegated responsibility to ‘others’ in my opinion.

Bottom line is I think evacuation orders are smart.However, I dont think the ‘authorities’ should trump the rights of the landowner to choose whatever, even if it seems dumb in your mind to die fighting to save your own livelyhood….


1/9/2009 12:00:36 PM

Perhaps a compromise would be some sort of ‘certification’ process where training is involved.That way the firefighters would know the difference if the person knows the right things versus some beer infused yahoo with a chainsaw…


1/9/2009 12:18:58 PM

Staying to protect your home puts firefighters at risk.If you thought you could protect your home and suddenly realize you’re in over your head, you force a firefighter to risk his/her life to try to save you.The firefighter can’t make the decision to not save you just because you said you’re going to take the risk on yourself.You put their lives at risk when you risk yours.


1/9/2009 12:49:55 PM

go get redcarded and ask your local firestation to host a defensible space training for your neighborhood.If you get your redcard you’ll get some firsthand knowledge of the danger that firefighters put themselves in, how hard they work and how good of shape hand crews have to be in to do their jobs.


1/9/2009 1:06:17 PM

This isn’t even really worth the argument. You, as an American, have the right to choose. It is the authorities job to warn you of impending harm or danger. Once they have warned you, then they have done their job. Your house is your home, and no one should be able to force you from it. If you choose to “go down with the ship,” then that is your call. Anyone who thinks it’s right to be forced from your home should leave this country, there are other countries in this world that will force you to do things, often for no reason at all.


1/9/2009 1:13:22 PM

re olde stage fire….camera’s headline screaming 11,000 evacuated was a fine example of very poor reporting. no one had the facts. all speculation and sensationalism. if you know boulder, you know that 11,000 people did not flee the area which was burning. more like 1100 perhaps. today’s paper corrected itself by explaining the 11,000 reverse 911 calls. that’s a big difference from 11,000 citizens fleeing! and this terrible reporting goes nationwide. writers: get your facts straight and THINK. use some logic!…..if you had any clue of that part of boulder, you would have known your numbers were all wrong and you were pushing all the wrong panic buttons. ALSO, MANY, MANY THANKS TO THE FIRE DEPARTMENTS, SHERIFF’S DEPT. AND ALL THOSE WHO ASSISTED THOSE NEEDING HELP. THANK YOU, THANK YOU! You all got it right.

1/9/2009 1:16:18 PM


I dont think you understand that when you choose “to go down with the ship” that the firefighters don’t have the choice to let you go alone.It is their duty to try and save you.When you go down, you take the firefighters with you.


1/9/2009 1:18:51 PM

“And that’s why I will never evacuate.”

Indeed, nukes, we all know you are full of sh*t!


1/9/2009 1:24:49 PM

People put their lives at risk all the time and authorities come to bail them out when in trouble.Rockclimbers, mountaineers etc put ‘authorities’ lives at risk when they need saving.Shouldnt landowners be afforded the same options as thrillseekers ?If not, should thrillseeking be banned because it endangers others ?

Interesting topic and a tough call.My belief is, fundamentally, America was founded on self-reliance.Taking that away because authorities know whats better for you than you do is not my idea of freedom.

Like a ‘well trained militia’, interested able people who are qualified should have the option to train or whatever to aid in fighting a fire to save their homes.Likewise, firefighters should have the option to not save you if it puts them in extreme danger.Freedom swings both ways.


1/9/2009 2:01:02 PM


“It is their duty to try and save you. When you go down, you take the firefighters with you.”

Not exactly. As a firefighter the safety of my crew and myself are the highest value. If a homeowner is trying to save a house that is going up in flames they are on their own. I will offer them a ride out, but my engine is moving on to something that can be saved.

The presence of a homeowner seriously complicates structure protection. Sometimes they are very useful. At other times they are a distraction andeven worse a hinderance. The problem is that the homeowner is doing structure protection for the first time and is emotionally involved. It is not unusual to have the homeowner start to freak out when firefighters start burning out around the house…and yet this is often the most effective defense. It certainly was this week.

Personally, I would rather not have the homeowners present.


1/9/2009 3:12:57 PM

Well, the evacuations were not needed – only a couple of structures burned – so it turns out those who wouldn’t leave their homes were right and the bureaucrats were wrong.


1/9/2009 4:44:03 PM

We live in Lake Valley and never received a reverse 911 phone call.Obviously Intrado was not 100% successfull in contacting all households.Our service provider is Vonage, and we’ve had the same phone number for nine years.


1/9/2009 5:08:43 PM

We live on the intersection on Neva Rd and 36 (there is a cool photo of fire fighters attempting to control the blaze at our place. They were successful =).We got the reverse 911 call seconds after we spotted flames coming over the hill about 150feet from our property line.It was a bit close an d we would have preferred a quicker warning although they probably sent out the warning as soon as possible.Fortunately, we had seen the smoke and were already evacuating. I would have liked to stay and have helped save out home but we had too many animals that we had to save. After all our animals were safe at the fair grounds and humane society (with the exception of three horses we had to leave behind) the fire department wouldn’t let us come back. Fortunately, the house and the horses are safe. For that we are very grateful. However, that we didn’t get the reverse 911 call until the flames were almost on top of us makes it even more impressive that firefighters were able to move quickly enough to save our house and our horses. We owe them a lot.


1/9/2009 5:27:44 PM

WhosYourDaddy spat: “it turns out those who wouldn’t leave their homes were right and the bureaucrats were wrong.”

And if the winds had shifted, we’d have a lot fewer of those low-brain-power types around today.

1/9/2009 6:03:40 PM

Posted by JakPott on January 9, 2009 at 2:01 p.m.

People put their lives at risk all the time and authorities come to bail them out when in trouble. Rockclimbers, mountaineers etc put ‘authorities’ lives at risk when they need saving. Shouldnt landowners be afforded the same options as thrillseekers ? If not, should thrillseeking be banned because it endangers others ?

Interesting topic and a tough call. My belief is, fundamentally, America was founded on self-reliance. Taking that away because authorities know whats better for you than you do is not my idea of freedom.

Like a ‘well trained militia’, interested able people who are qualified should have the option to train or whatever to aid in fighting a fire to save their homes. Likewise, firefighters should have the option to not save you if it puts them in extreme danger. Freedom swings both ways.


By your logic saving your home in the event of a wildfire is equivalent to thrillseeking such as rock climbing etc?Yeah right.

Firefighters go through intense training and fire management.They study wildfires and how they operate according to the elements.Firefighters know more than you about fires.They’re obligated by ethics and codes to save you.

By you choosing to stay in a dangerous situation is equivalent to choosing to commit suicide.Last I looked that was still against the law.

1/9/2009 7:45:04 PM

Insightful, persuasive comments by many – I kept going back and forth agreeing with JakPott at noon, then comment at 12:49PM, etc. Angrynative, 1:13PM,is right. Ultimately, even timid little me, I believe I have and will take the right to choose. I agree with JakPott’s motivations. Too much government intervention will weaken the resolve of Americans to be self-reliant, and yet, we have to be smart, to balance the consequences. This is probably the best comment section I’ve ever read. Wonderful to hear substantive, back and forth arguments to find some common ground.

1/9/2009 8:37:07 PM

Darn, now I’m back to the necessity to follow orders to evacuate.

It’s human nature to think you might beat the fire, but once it’s truly out of control, you need NOT to be a distraction to the firefighters. I think if you saw fire videos, the rapidity and devastation, it might make you hasten to evacuate.Every homeowner is a nuisance just by being present and an unknown variable.

1/9/2009 8:44:42 PM

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