After a destructive fire season in 2015, conditions in California are already drying out.
Although we received a decent amount of rain this winter and spring, there are still over 29 million dead trees due to the drought and bark beetle, causing our fire conditions to remain elevated. Not only that, but late-season rains can cause weeds and brush to grow more strongly.
This week is an important reminder that all Californians must do their part to play a critical role in preparing for fire season.
Being ready for a wildfire starts by maintaining 100 feet of defensible space and hardening homes with fire resistant building materials. It is highly recommended that residents landscape their yards with drought tolerant and fire resistant plants.
Citizens should also have an evacuation plan, an emergency supply kit, and be ready to evacuate early in the case of any wildfire. Many of you may have seen the current news regarding the massive wildfire near Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada. It began as a small brush fire outside city limits and has grown into a raging inferno. The wildfire is continuing to spread forcing more evacuations. Nearly 88,000 people have already fled the city, some of which by emergency airlift. It can happen anywhere and it can happen fast, be prepared.
Over 90% of the wildfires in California are sparked by the activity of people, which means that almost all wildfires are preventable. One of the leading causes of wildfires is outdoor power equipment. Use power equipment before 10 a.m. and never on hot and windy days. When clearing dead or dying grass, don’t use a lawn mower or weed trimmer with a metal blade. Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained with nothing dragging on the ground like trailer chains.
All residents and vacationers need to be extra cautious outdoors because one less spark means one less wildfire. Learn more ways to prepare for wildfire by visiting www.ReadyForWildfire.org and reviewing the linked flyer.
Information provided by Monterey Fire DepartmentWildfire preparedness flyer