Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Re: [californiadisasters] KCFD Holds Fire Meeting With Residents About Hazard Reduction

We are attending. We also are registered weed abatement contractors, so I would like to remind everyone to please follow the recommendations of the Fire Department and clear a minimum of 100 feet of grass and combustibles from your house (or to the property line).  Also, clear out around out buildings that may be further than least 10 feet, and propane tanks.
For high risk areas, you must remove/mow grasses and weeds to 100' from your residence (or to the property line) by June 15th, or risk a citation.
Also, please remember that the fuel is starting out green and lawn mowing is great for that. But when it dries out, you may want to leave the mowers in the shed and pull out the weed whackers instead.  Every year someone uses a mower on "dry" grass and weeds and seems to start a fire while even trying to reduce the danger. This can happen easily when metal blades from a mower strike hidden rocks or scrap metal and creates sparks.
If your house is on a steep slope, you may want to go as far as 200' away from your residence on the down hill side, as flames can burn faster and higher on moderate to steep slopes.
Remember to also trim trees up to 6-10 feet above the ground, as low branches can create a "fire ladder" up a tree.
Remove combustibles at least 30 feet from your house (fire wood piles, for instance) and rake up dead material and litter.  Be careful of the kind of mulch you use. Stay away from wood and rubber types that combust. You don't really want those against your home.
Clean out your gutters!  Litter in the gutters is an easy spark point for embers ...embers can travel more than a mile in good sized fires, creating new spot fires.

Fire season is just around the corner, and in preparation, the Kern
County Fire Department is meeting with residents in the mountain
communities to help them make their properties more fire-safe.

Wednesday night is the last chance for residents in the Tehachapi area
to meet with fire officials.The meeting will be held in Stallion
Springs, an isolated area evacuated last fall during the Comanche
Complex Fire.

On Sept. 10, 2011, Kern County seemed to be completely on fire.
Overnight, around 50 fires were sparked by lightning and eventually
scorched a total of 65,000 acres

The only community evacuated was Stallion Springs, an area that sits
so far back in the Tehachapi Mountains it backs up to Fort Tejon.

"We are the furthest community in, so in some ways, we are the
furthest from resources," said Mary Beth Garrison, the general manager
for the Stallion Springs Community Services District. "We recognize
that as a community, we have to stand on our own two feet."

That very idea was tested during the Comanche Complex Fire last fall.
While residents were asked to evacuate, they all came home to find
everything as they left it, something Garrison credits to residents
cleaning up their properties.

As Kern County heads into the 2012 fire season, officials are once
again asking people to clean up.

"This is probably some of the last cooler weather we are going to have
before summer hits," said Capt. Derek Tisinger of the Kern County Fire
Department. "Get out there, mow that grass, limb your trees up to six
feet, make sure your roof is clear and clean out your rain gutters."

While officials said fire seasons can be hard to predict, they said
they don't expect this year to be a quiet one.

"We expect to be busy," said Tisinger. "Every little bit that the
community can get out and do, helps us and makes their houses that
much safer."

Making a home safer is something officials said comes down to the

"They can make all the difference in the world," said Garrison.

The meeting in Stallion Springs will be held at the community services
district at 6:30 p.m Wednesday.

There are two more hazard reduction meetings. Both will be in the Kern
River Valley.

On April 23, the meeting will be at the Lake Isabella Senior Center at
6 p.m.

The final meeting will be at the Alta Sierra Park HQ on April 28 and
will start at 10 a.m.

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