Letter to the Editor

Money up in smoke

Whispering Oaks Ranch, Paso RoblesNovember 19, 2012 

Yesterday, I received a bill from the Board of Equalization for $115, for the so-called “Fire Protection Fee” (Cal Fire). Enclosed with the bill was a nice brochure, explaining the “benefit” to all rural property owners of paying this “fee.”

Ironically, Cal Fire’s air tankers have been flying over our property for the last three days, en route to the fire they started. If Cal Fire is truly concerned about fire protection, perhaps they should stop starting fires.

Rural property owners must pay $50 for a burn permit, and will be billed by Cal Fire if their response is needed. Cal Fire conducts a “controlled burn,” that is anything but controlled, and four days later they are still trying to put it out with tankers, helicopters and ground crews — again, at our expense. Clearly, that $115 tax is up in smoke.

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