Monday, July 7, 2008

THE DEBATE on the CURTIS FAMILY Protecting their home

Okay OKAY everybody....out of 78 posts to date at the L.A. times...only 4 were anti-Curtis backfiring.

Here's the first ten....Add your own thoughts in the comment section of this particular blog.

1. This incident should be used as a building block to create a program to teach citizens how to defend their property from fire, since firefighters and their resources are not sufficient to help everyone. Enabling people to help themselves is the best strategy, given the inadequate resources in remote locations. Also, what jury of one's peers would convict these guys? That, against the likely prospect of losing it all, was worth the gamble.
Submitted by: brenda
2:54 PM PDT, July 7, 2008
2. Mr. Curtis, ask for a jury trial. There is no way a jury in Monterey County will convict a person of defending what is theirs. Maybe you can write down instructions for others who may need to defend their property from wildfires?
Submitted by: Marianne
2:47 PM PDT, July 7, 2008
3. way to go guys! have never felt safer renting from anyone. the Curtis' know their land, and they proved it. i'm glad those 2 weeks of brush clearing payed off. i needed the rest. can't wait to go home!
Submitted by: denim
2:41 PM PDT, July 7, 2008
4. People would be singing a completely different tune if the fire they started had gotten out of control and burned someone else's property down or even killed someone. It is only property. They didn't do it to save a life. The law is the law and when you break it you must face the consequences.
Submitted by: JW
2:39 PM PDT, July 7, 2008
5. if you are blessed to call it home you would do everything in your power to protect it. Relying on the already strained forest service, who can't even pronounce the names of our ridges, peaks and valleys was and is not an option if you have any intention of preserving your land. Ross shouldn't be vilified or seen as a martyr, all people should care about now is that the curtis family succeeded. If the case even goes to trial, he will take the rap for everyone, or there will be an "I am Spartacus" type circus. Any punishment may or may not be just, but the alternative to obey the evacuation and not fight would have been even more devastating.
Submitted by: Lee
2:13 PM PDT, July 7, 2008
6. in response to ben's comment, all the failure of communication, lack of local knowledge on the part of fire crews and law enforcement, fear mongering (threatening to arrest residents and asking for access to dental records!) and general government ineptitude aside, referring to the curtis' property on apple pie ridge as a "compound" is not loaded language because that IS what it IS. It is MANY homes spread across expansive ridge views with a gorgeous avocado and citrus orchard, grape vines, gardens, a swimming pool and dozens of tenants that are a vital part of the big sur community. If you have ever been there, you know, and
Submitted by: Lee
2:13 PM PDT, July 7, 2008
7. I applaud Mr. Curtis for his heroic acts of bravery. He did the right. Now, could everyone have done this? No. Of course not. Yet, he knew exactly what he was doing, and so I commend him. I would do it, too. Then again, I am a Cal Fire firefighter for 12 seasons.
Submitted by: Support for Mr. Curtis' Back fire
2:11 PM PDT, July 7, 2008
8. If you knew exactly what to do in this type of situation, what would you have done to protect your property when you knew the firefighters weren't coming?
Submitted by: Betty
1:49 PM PDT, July 7, 2008
9. I live in fire country in the NW and I commend these guys. Anyone who thinks it should be left to government "professionals" doesn't have much knowledge of what has happened to wildland firefighting over the last thirty years. We had an incompetent federal fireboss get a group of firefighters killed over east of here and no one was out arresting him. Instead the Forest Service covered up every way they could and they still are.
Submitted by: Karen
1:44 PM PDT, July 7, 2008
10. Hopefully this case will go the way of the people in Sacramento who were punished for letting their lawn die in a drought.... Government which can't do what it is supposed to do, should not be meddling in the lives of those who do what they have to do. Are govt employees the only ones alllowed to use their god-given brains????
Submitted by: penna
1:34 PM PDT, July 7, 2008


Anonymous said...

I hope some day to be blessed to shake the hands of the Curtis family! They are heroes. Anyone who says otherwise is a nut job in my book.

Anonymous said...

After reading all these posts about people in Big Sur disagreeing and fighting with authorities I'm beginning to think that most or all of the people who stayed there, against evacuation orders, are a bunch of rebels, especially the Curtis bunch. Has anyone who thinks they're such heroes stopped to consider what would happen if everyone in Big Sur disobeyed the orders and took matters into their own hands? Hello!!!! Things turn to chaos pretty quickly and that's the reason why we have laws, to create order and help to protect the group, not just a few outlaws. Interesting the land was originally owned by the writer of Gunsmoke.

Anonymous said...

Rock on Ross and company...It wasn'tjust land they saved it was many homes, possibly business too. You really can't understand it unless you have lived there. big Sur isnt like the rest of the country, those people are ingrained in the land and proved it yet again. If you have never lived there you have no business commenting catwoman...and the writer of gunsmoke was Ross Curtis' Father, not interesting, just fact. i am proud to know all 9 of the heroes on Apple Pie and to call them friends and co-workers. Things turn to chaos pretty quickly and that's the reason why we have laws, to create order and help to protect the group, not just a few outlaws. so says the catwoman...tell that to George Washington or Rosa Parks...Laws are not perfect. My name is Michael Hickey and I am not afraid to hide behind a comic book moniker ma'am.

Anonymous said...

Dear Catwoman, It's not that Big Surians were "fighting with authorities or even disagreeing with them" it's not that we all thing that we are so different than the rest of the world or set apart or special. It's Big Sur itself that is so special. It is said that Big Sur will spit you out herself or himself if you aren't meant to be here. The pioneer spirit is STILL HERE! Descendants of PIONEERS still live here. What some of them were striving for, not fighting was to preserve their history of 150 years or more. Some lost some maintained. Who "knows the land more"...outsiders? or those whose family were truly pioneers? And those who have earned Big Sur citizenship by living on and with the land for many years. When I first moved here, I remember meeting a woman who said...that even though she had already been in Big Sur thirty years she was still considered a newcomer by the elders.
Big Surians are committed to more than just their way of life but the magic of the meshing of history, nature, art, and inspiration. Whether you live here by the side of the road, in your car, in an RV, in a cabin, yurt, goat shed with or without electricity of any kind, or you have a full on palace Big Sur touches and holds a place inside of you that never ever ever goes away. It is an honor to be within a community of such dedicated individuals who feel so free to be who they each are. To be in Big Sur is to be HERE NOW! Michael and the rest of you share your real names without fear of retribution...I take my hats off to you.
P.S. "1/2 tree" please call me...Your post has been the most wonderful and hilarious one of the week. Please don't be anonymous to me.

Anonymous said...

Trying to explain the Curtis' acts or the Big Sur lifestyle, especially to someone who feels as Catwoman does, is like Sisyphus rolling the boulder uphill, only to have it roll down again.

I have just spent a considerable amount of time 'outside' in a large city...people in that environment are so detached from the Earth and their own origins & history...generations of them...that there cannot be any understanding of the Big Sur lifestyle for them. Having surrendered to the authority of the 'authorities', their safety and security is "Big-brother" based, so it is threatening for them to hear of anyone acting outside of that framework...their trust in 'the law' could be proven wrong. Add to that the fear (and rightly so) that "Big-brother" isn't taking such good care of them after all, and, well...they must defend themselves with condemnation of 'other' behavior.

'We' can feel guilty to have given up our freedoms (and so lightly at times), and we long deeply to have them back...but we are too afraid to stand in that freedom...the responsibility inherent in freedom is daunting to most these days. Easier to surrender and be 'safe', and condemn others who act otherwise…the ultimate prejudice. I don't know where you live Catwoman, but your post reminds me of the mentality I am talking about.

And, by the way Catwoman, it is legal to stay with one's own property, not 'against evacuation orders' to do so. And remember: 'rebels' created this country so you could post your post and have your say. Thank the 'rebels' for YOUR freedom!! I invite you to search inside your self and if any of my words touch a nerve... REVOLT, REBEL and LIVE FREE!

PS: a great many Big Sur people DID 'take matters into their own hands'...had one else was there...and has 'chaos' happened? Nope...

I remain…still…anonymous, as my ‘project’ is yet unfinished.

And I know who ½ tree is! ;) (NOT me)

Anonymous said...

Sheepwoman says: "I'm beginning to think . . ."

It's clear that you're a beginner at it. Keep trying.

Anonymous said...

Susan I left a 'Thank you' over at and went back to look today and found it had been deleted. I had thanked the Curtis family for staying behind to keep Apple Pie safe. I was dismayed my comment was deleted. Do you have any idea why the owner of that site would delete my thank you?

Yanaar said...

I'm wondering if there's a way to deputize resident "fire fighters," so their assistance can be legal. Any lawyers reading this? There must be precedent somewhere in California law.

Anonymous said...

"I apologize if I have offended you in anyway."

Anonymous said...

Concerning recent 'rebel' behavior, I would like to suggest to everyone a reading of Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience". Different circumstances, same ideas.

Here it is online in three parts:

Someone make sure the Curtis' get this...maybe their lawyer could use some of it!

Also, it's an especially good read for an election year.

Anonymous said...

From The Inside, It Looks Like This :

"The authorities seemed to want it to burn the valley. They didn't do much to stop it and by kicking all locals out (we had to be careful where we went to avoid getting arrested) they made sure they had no local knowledge or experience. It was surreal. Here's an example: Ross and Mica Curtis lit a very smart backfire that saved their place and ended up helping us hold the line we held. Ross was taken to the Marina prison in handcuffs and Mica escaped down the canyon with a warrant out for his arrest. As a result we lost Ross, who could have been a great addition to our meagre team."

How could we do other wise, than to support saving lives and property, by our own actions ?


cowboy said...

Can sombody do a poll on how many people keep their dental records handy? Just joking. I read the Xasauan cronicle of the '72 Molera fire. A bit of background of the debacle the Curtis family went through then. Oh well--- life does go on. Blessings, MJ