As a Mountain Shadows resident who did not lose my home, but who lives VERY near hundreds who did, I will say that I'm forever grateful to the firefighters. The fact that I still have a home is a miracle - one they created. I was caught up in the chaos that afternoon and in hindsight witnessed firefighters running helter skelter trying to save homes or even know where to go. It was obvious to me since the day the fire broke out that those in charge were all flying by the seat of their pants. Saying that, I would have left already anyway but that is because I grew up around California wildfires and know they are not predictable. But MANY people relied on what they were being told in the news conferences (which were complete JOKES of how NOT to conduct public relations as far as I'm concerned). Good PR was the very last thing they paid attention to, and now everywhere I go I hear Jerry Marr being hailed as some kind of a hero, one we should even nominate was Woman of the Year. Give me a break!!! That's only because she made the media laugh. From the perspective of an evacuee, she was ANYTHING but the icon of leadership and trustworthiness. And I swore that if she was gonna continue to talk to me like I was a six year old field trip school kid, I'd have word with her. I never got that chance. NOW, she is doing all she can to ride the celebrity train in the aftermath when she (and whomever gave her the erroneous information) relayed in her official capacity that there would be a 4-5 hour window to evacuate. And now, she won't even talk about it. Where is accountability? People DIED!!!!! People who believed they had 3-4 hours time to leave!!! I will FOREVER be grateful to the fire fighters. They are true heroes, NOT bureaucrats who now want to cover up their own blundering failures. Leadership? Hardly! Oh, we were led, yes, but properly? By the head of fire fighting efforts who did not even know where Mountain Shadows was located in relationship to the fire? OMG!!! Were they doing the best they could? I think most of them sincerely were. The failure comes in because the city ignored for years warnings that a fire was not a matter of "if" but of "when". I also don't like Mayor Bach's comments that "could you imagine how devastating it would have been had it hit further south?". SERIOUSLY??? How smug of you, Mayor. It was devastating PERIOD. I'm sorry our homes aren't an average of $500K or higher in value each, but they are upscale homes and they are HOMES. Now gone! How arrogant can a leader be in the face of tragedy? Thanks for the report. I've read and seen and heard about much of this before. I only hope the so called leadership will humble themselves and relay the lessons learned instead of hiding behind and trying to cover up what they don't want us to know. BIG mistake if they take that course, but they seem practiced in making wrong choices, unfortunately.
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