By Ron Serabia
Fire season is just around the corner, and the abundant rainfall this year means the wildfire risk could be higher than usual. The lush landscape of grasses and weeds that has grown in many areas will dry out as the temperatures warm up. That means more fine fuel for the wildfires, when they start.
Firefighters spend the first week of May—Wildfire Awareness Week—urging homeowners across the state to get themselves and their properties ready for wildfires. “This year’s fire season has not started as early as it has in years past,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CalFire acting director. “That’s why residents should take the time now, while the grass is still green, to make sure they are ready for California’s wildfires.” Tips can be found on drafting a family evacuation plan and creating the 100-foot defensible buffer around your home by clearing out all dead grass, plants and weeds.
Do not brush this “defensible space” reminder off as only a friendly recommendation. It’s actually a state law—Public Resources Code 4291: http://www.fire.ca.gov/communications/communications_firesafety_100feet.php.
Check www.readyforwildfire.org for tips on how to make your home more fire-resistant. San Dieto County information: www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dplu/fire_resistant.html.
Ron Serabia, a Ramona resident, is a retired CalFire captain.