Wildwood Fire Season Prep Townhall set July 12 | TheUnion.com

Wildwood Fire Season Prep Townhall set July 12

 

Fire Season Preparedness — Be Aware and Get Prepared

July 12, at 6:00 p.m., in the Community Center.

Your local fire department and its members would like everyone to be hyper-vigilant during Red Flag Warning Days — above-normal seasonal temperatures, strong and gusty winds (particularly north wind events), low humidity levels and warm, breezy nights. Reference your local weather channel for updates. Learn more about Red Flag Warnings from the National Weather Service, http://www.Weather.Gov, and type in Zip Code 95946. Also, sign up for CodeRED at http://www.mynevadacounty.com (select CodeRED button). Check the box for Weather Advisories.
During hot, dry weather, vegetation is dry. This is when any spark can cause a fire that can quickly burn out of control. Don't use metal blades to cut dry vegetation; a single strike can spark tragedy. Instead, use a weed-eater with plastic line.
Other fire prevention ideas around your home include removing dead and dying vegetation, cleaning your roof and gutters of needles and leaves, replacing ornamental vegetation with hardscape in the home ignition zone around structures, removing ladder fuels that can transport fire from the ground to the tree canopy, providing a minimum of 100 feet of defensible space and moving wood piles well away from structures. These simple steps will help firefighters help you in the event of a wildfire near your home. There are no absolutes with wildfire; however, you can increase the chances of your home surviving a flaming fire front.
I'll be reviewing the new, updated Fire Season Guide at the Lake Wildwood Fire Season Preparedness town hall meeting on July 12, at 6:00 p.m., in the Community Center. We'll also be reviewing the new, updated Lake Wildwood Evacuation Map. You can find both of these in today's issue of TWI. Review and keep these to help you prepare for fire season. Drive and/or walk the evacuation routes. Know where they are and how to get out of the area.
Learn more about defensible space at http://www.AreYouFireSafe.com. Lake Wildwood has Defensible Space Coordinators who can assess your yard. Call (530) 272-1122 to set up an appointment.
Penn Valley Fire and Nevada County firefighters have been preparing for fire season all year long. In early May, two tabletop evacuation exercises were held with law enforcement, Sheriff's Department, Cal Fire and Nevada County Office of Emergency Services. This is where we go through all kinds of emergency situations (fire, bomb, chemical leakage, etc.) and walk through who does what when. We reviewed terminology and emergency plans, refreshed on contact information, and exercised CodeRED.
In late May, a mock fire training drill was held in Lake of the Pines and Lake Wildwood. Over 200 personnel and volunteers participated in each community, including your local firefighters, firefighters from outside our area, federal and state firefighters, personnel from the Sheriff's Department and other local law enforcement agencies, Nevada County OES, and other local agencies and organizations that would be assisting in a real emergency.
The purpose of the drill was to train firefighters, as well as to educate the public as to how firefighters fight fires, and defend lives and property. We want firefighters to navigate their way around a community, and through terrain, with which they may not be familiar — and, in the process, encounter the occasional curveball.
There were three specific events that the firefighters stumble upon during the training — a mock vehicle accident that happens as they are responding to another incident; power lines down, blocking a roadway, with a life safety hazard; and a simulated fire entrapment, with an engine on fire and firefighters with serious injuries.
Other ways Penn Valley Fire has been preparing for fire season include ongoing education and training on fireground activities, increased fire inspections as citizen complaints are received and taking every opportunity to address and interact with the public on fire safety topics.
Do what you can now to be prepared for fire season. Have a plan and rehearse that plan, have a "go bag" ready, know how to open your garage door without electricity and know more than one route out of the area you live.
If you have questions or would like to have us speak at your event, club meeting or other, please call or e-mail me at (530) 432-2630 or dwagner@pennvalleyfire.com. Thank you and may we all have a safe fire season.

—Don Wagner, Chief,

Penn Valley Fire Protection District