CHP Cracks Down on Speeding Near Fire Lines

By: Auburn Hutton Email
By: Auburn Hutton Email

The speed limit on 395 is normally 65, and since the section near Balls Canyon is usually somewhat desolate, many people are used to driving well above that....but CHP officers weren't taking any excuses.

"People see fire, they want to stop and look. I went up on the hill last night and watched for two hours. It's unfortunate, but it draws your attention," said Cliff Ruden of Bordertown.

As the fire died down a bit, people began to speed up, sometimes forgetting about the blaze still burning...and all the obstacles that come with a critical situation.

"A lot of smoke, a lot of traffic, a lot of heavy equipment," said Jon Cross of Susanville, who described what he saw on the side of the road.

All things that can draw your attention away from the road, and your speed...which is why CHP officers were making themselves visible to drivers near the fire, hoping to curb the curiosity of drivers...and get people to slow down.

"They don't pass us when there are four or five of us. They might not want to comply but they stay behind us," said Lt. Paul Davis of California Highway Patrol.

45 mile per hour warning signs were posted near the fire lines, but clearly, not everyone chose to comply. Residents who live nearby and know people whose homes were at risk, say they don't mind the decreased speeds.

"Just kicked it in cruise control and reduced my speed because I saw CHP and NHP all over the place."

"The slower the better."

The last thing firefighters need while the blaze is still burning is another emergeny situation, like a car crash or another accident that will take their attention away from firefighting efforts.


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