By CAL FIRE/RAMONA FIRE DEPARTMENT BATTALION CHIEF BURKE KREMENSKY
On behalf of the Ramona Fire Department and Cal Fire, I wanted to thank all who participated in and attended the wildfire preparedness meeting Tuesday, July 16. There were many good questions and comments by all.
I wanted to stress the most important topic, being prepared. No matter what type of emergency, the community needs to be prepared. For instance, one of the most valuable things you can do before a wildfire is provide 100 feet of defensible space, protecting your home and providing safety.
In a study conducted after Australia’s Black Saturday Fires in 2009 that killed 173 people and injured 414, professors from the University of California at Berkeley and the Australian National University gathered 12,000 measurements around 500 houses that were affected by the fires. “Clearing trees and shrubs within 40 meters (131 feet) was the most effective form of fuel reduction on Black Saturday.”
The researchers went on to say that “No amount of fuel reduction will guarantee that a house is safe on extreme weather days like Black Saturday, so it is critical that other measures, such as early evacuation, safer places and architectural solutions are considered by every resident in fire-prone areas in addition to, or instead of, fuel reduction,”
They went on to say, “We predicted that modifying several fuels could theoretically reduce house loss by 76 percent to 97 percent, which would translate to considerably fewer wildfire-related deaths.“ This study like many others shows the importance of being prepared. Remember, “You provide the defense and we will provide the offense!”
A great place to get information and education on preparing for emergencies can be found at www.readysandiego.org or by visiting your local fire station.
Cal Fire/Ramona Fire Department Battalion Chief Burke Kremensky is a Ramona resident.