Sunday, July 29, 2018

Uncontrolled hysteria about a controlled burn. . .

From the file labeled ‘H’ for hysterical. . .

In May 2014 the City of Lake Worth and the Lake Worth CRA posted press releases on the City’s website about a controlled burn (see video below) of an uninhabited, dilapidated former home in Lake Worth. As Palm Beach Post reporter Andrew Marra pointed out in late 2013 the situation was very dire in this City:
Dangerously dilapidated properties were left untouched, while code enforcement officials continued tacking on fines they knew would never be collected.

Following that news from the City in May 2014 there were several controlled burns of abandoned homes too dangerous to be left standing. For many neighborhoods these structures were creating issues with public safety, e.g., a chronic nuisance attracting drug users, vagrants, and prostitution.

Then later that year, in November 2014, I posted a notice announcing another upcoming controlled burn.

And that’s when the uncontrolled hysteria
about a controlled burn began. . .

A former City resident, Suzanne Squire, discovered the news and upon learning of that controlled burn had several options. She could have called the CRA. She could have gotten more information from the City. She could have called the Palm Beach Fire Rescue Academy. She could have done any one of a number of things to learn the facts.

But instead, this is what was posted on Facebook in Nov. 2014: Warning City residents to “EVACUATE”.

Cue the hysteria. Here is Ms. Squire’s post on Facebook:
FYI: These structure were prepared for a controlled burn ahead of time. Hazardous materials were removed prior to the controlled burn.

Here are the comments that followed the uncontrolled hysterical rant about controlled burns.

Click on image to enlarge:
As you can see, some City residents attempted to educate and calm Ms. Squire, but to no avail. Sincerely valiant attempts they were.

Now enters another former resident of this City, a professional photographer and drone pilot Jim Stafford to the rescue. Jim Stafford filmed this controlled burn on May 31st, 2014:

This is a screen grab from Stafford’s video that describes the procedure:

Due to training such as this, a life Palm Beach Fire Rescue firefighters save some day may be your own or someone in your family or neighborhood.

The lesson here is be wary from where you get your information. And to all our brave and hard-working men and women in the fire and rescue services we say, “Carry On!”