Don’t let recent rains fool you. This year’s wildfire season isn’t necessarily a new one, but rather a continuation of last year’s, thanks to the drought. The National Weather Service is forecasting our first significant Santa Ana wind event of the season this week. Prepare now before conditions get worse!
- Remove all dead plants, grass and weeds from at least 30 feet from your house.
- Trim tree branches so that they are at least 10 feet from other trees. Also, remove branches that are 6 feet or less from the ground.
- Move any wood piles at least 30 feet from your house.
- If your house has a deck, clear out any inflammable materials, including vegetation from underneath and around it.
- Keep a fire extinguisher and tools such as a bucket, rake, shovel and hoe in your garage.
- Trim back any overhanging trees or shrubs to allow emergency vehicles to get access to your house.
- Cover vents with a 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch metal mesh. Vents can allow embers to enter houses. If vents are in an eave or cornice, ember-blocking baffles are also needed.
- Use powered equipment outdoors only in the early morning to avoid sparking a wildfire.
This week also begins National Fire Prevention Week. However, we should practice fire safety all year long!
Contact your local fire department and visit: nfpa.org/safety-information/fire-prevention-week for additional information.
Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna