A Fire HazardWhen will Southampton Town address the alarming state of the forest in Hubbard Park and on Red Creek Road in Hampton Bays and surrounding streets?
Over the past 18 months or so, residents have became more and more alarmed by the state of the forest in our surroundings that seem to be targeted by the southern pine beetle. There is an alarming number of dead pine trees falling on other trees, or at risk of falling, including on the roads, but so far no action has been taken by Southampton Town Hall, besides cutting a few of them down in the summer of 2017, but without a strategy to clear or manage the debris caused by such cutting action.
Although Southampton Town seems to have declared a state of emergency regarding this plague, nothing has been done in our area. Despite the presence of a park ranger in Hubbard Park, it has turned into a devastated forest and is creating a massive fire hazard, given the abundance of bone-dry cut or fallen trees among the sparse trees that are still alive.
Remembering the fires that ravaged the Pine Barrens region in 1995, burning 6,800 acres, and the more recent devastating wildfires that plagued California last summer, not taking care of the forest and clearing away the fuel for potential wildfires represents a massive threat to our homes in our region. Even our president highlighted this danger after he toured the wildfires last summer!
As taxpayers, we should expect a serious response from our state and local governments. I am writing to you in order to raise awareness about the situation, as many residents are at risk of losing their properties in case of fire.
Red Creek Road and its surrounding streets and parks fall under the responsibility of Southampton Town, to which all residents pay taxes, and, as such, are entitled to expect a prompt response before the summer.
Nadia KoeppHampton Bays
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