By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
It’s important to remember this year’s brush fire season will be a very active one with so much rain over the winter months. Unfortunately the Covid-19 virus is putting many at risk as its hampering mitigation efforts with local fire agencies.
From brush mitigation management, prescribed burns, to multi-agency training for firefighters, local, state and federal fire agencies are trying to adhere to the country’s new social distancing guidelines to slow the spread.
The U.S. Forest Service, announced last week that it was suspending prescribed burns. This is an effective way to reduce hazardous vegetation from hillsides.
Fire Chiefs concern now is that we’re going to be more reactive to fire than proactive. We need the public’s help more than ever. We’ll do our part, but the public has to do their part!
Multi-jurisdictional spring fire training has been cancelled with many agencies. Mutual aid is critical during these wildfires. Brush inspections and other mitigations may be disrupted/delayed.
Large scale wildfires typically draw hundreds, if not thousands, of firefighters into packed tent cities, where they work, eat and sleep together for weeks. Virus outbreaks are common, and the more severe coronavirus would probably find ripe breeding grounds there.
Firefighters need the public’s help and cooperation more than ever!
For more information visit: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/prepare-for-wildfire/get-ready/defensible-space/