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  1. #1
    Super Member
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    Apr 2000
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    8,248
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    Shingle Springs California
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    New Holland TC40D

    Default Fire season is here, please be prepared!

    The California Department of Forestry just announced the start of the 2002 wildland fire season here in California. As you may have seen on the news, there are already fires burning here in California, and also in other states.

    Please, please, please take the time to ensure you property and home are prepared in case of a wild fire. In many cases, if you provide the proper clearances, your home or shop can be saved. If you do not provide a defensible space, it is hard to impossible for firefighters to save your home. In some cases, we may simply have to pass it by, as it is too dangerous to put a crew in.

    I took the liberty of copying this information from the CDF home page http://www.fire.ca.gov/Education/pdf/Checklistrevised.pdf

    RELEASE
    DATE: May 31, 2002 CONTACT: Karen Terrill
    Public Information Officer
    916 653-5123
    CDF Declares Fire Season Statewide
    Sacramento- The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) has declared the opening
    of wildland fire season statewide as of 8 a.m. Monday June 3, 2002. With this declaration comes a request for
    public cooperation. “We ask the people of California to help provide the defense and we’ll provide the offense,”
    says CDF Director Andrea Tuttle. “CDF will be there with fire fighters, fire engines and air tankers, but we need
    homeowners to provide that clearance around their property to make it defensible.”
    CDF provides the following fire prevention and life-saving tips:
    Before the Fire:
    • Clear flammable material away from structures at least 30 feet, but remember not to use power tools
    such as lawn mowers and chain saws during the heat of the day when they might send sparks into dry
    grass.
    •
    Remove leaves, twigs, pine needles, etc. from the roof.
    • Trim back tree branches at least 10 feet from the structure.
    • Stay informed. Listen to local newscasts about nearby fire activity.
    • Be prepared to evacuate if necessary. Collect valuable papers, medicines, pets, etc. so that you can grab
    them if you have to leave quickly.
    If a wildfire is approaching:
    • Listen to newscasts. If fire officials call for an evacuation please leave. No property is worth your life.
    • Park your car facing out for a quick exit. Put your valuables in the car and leave the key where you can
    get to it quickly.
    • Close shutters and heavy drapes. They can block radiant heat.
    • Take down shear curtains which might combust.
    • Leave the doors to your house unlocked. This allows firefighters a better chance to save your home.
    • Leave your lights on, making your home more visible through smoke.
    • Place a garden hose and buckets of water around your home. Firefighters may use them to douse spot
    fires.
    •
    Put a ladder up against your roof. This makes it easier for firefighters to put out small fires on the roof.
    • Cover up. Sparks will be flying. Wear long pants and long sleeves made of cotton. Goggles or wrap-around
    sun glasses can protect eyes.
    • Cover your head with a cap.
    • In heavy smoke, put a dry bandanna over your mouth and nose. Never wet it. You can steam your lungs.
    • Follow emergency broadcast instructions.
    If Surrounded by Fire:
    In a Structure –
    • Call 911 and give a good description of where you are.
    • Close windows, shutters and heavy drapes.
    • Turn off the air conditioning.
    • Get into the portion of the structure farthest from the on-coming fire.
    • A shower or bath tub may provide protection.
    • After the fire passes over get out of the structure since it probably will be on fire.
    In a vehicle-
    • If you see an escape opportunity, drive quickly through the flames to safety.
    • If you can’t see a safe exit, stop the vehicle and put it in park.
    • Leave the engine on. Keep pressing lightly on the accelerator to keep the engine running.
    • Roll up windows.
    • Stay in the vehicle – It is worse outside.
    • Turn air conditioner off.
    • Get on the floor.
    • Cover yourself.
    • Get out as soon as fire passes.
    • The car won’t explode but it may catch fire.
    On foot-
    • Look around for an escape route. Decide whether to shelter or run.
    • Drop everything heavy.
    • Get into a building or vehicle if possible.
    • Radio or phone your location.
    • Get into a rocky outcropping or body of water.
    • Lie flat in a ditch and dig a hole in the dirt for your face.
    • If there is no other choice, you might run through the flames to an area already burned. Immediately
    stop, drop and roll when you are past the flames.
    Help the fire service fight arson:
    • Watch for suspicious behavior.
    • Note the physical description, clothing, and auto license number of any suspicious person.
    • Make note of the time they were spotted in the area.
    • Call local law enforcement or fire department with information.

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    5,673
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Fire season is here, please be prepared!

    Robert,
    I should have said thank you for some of your past fire posts so I will know. After seeing several fires on the mountain our weekend home is on and reading your warnings in the past we have established a defensive perimeter. Being on a very steep cliff side it took some doing but we have managed to cut back the undergrowth, clear the dead leaf build up and have some grass started. Our conditions are different than the violable situation you California types live with and our efforts were what the local forest service recommended. We sleep a bit better knowing that if we are not there it may buy us enough time for the firefighters to do their job.

    Thanks again for the reminders. It is amazing how fast a fire can move through the woods if you have never seen one up close and personal.

    MarkV

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    62
    Location
    Penryn, CA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3450

    Default Re: Fire season is here, please be prepared!

    Robert

    Thank you for posting your note on fire prevention. For the past 20 plus years I have been part of the Volunteers in Prevention Program with CDF (see the web page at http://www.fire.ca.gov/Education/pdf/VIP2000.pdf). The news reports over the last weekend show that no area in the US is immune from wildfire

    In the list of items I think the most important are
    1) Create the 30ft (min) defendable space around your home and out buildings
    2) remove ladder fuels
    3) have adequate roads/parking for fire equipment
    4) have well marked road signs and house numbers

    Also remember that most of the wildfires are not the large multi day burns that make the news.

    I have seen fires in the hills west of Palo Alto that start in the early afternoon, burn 10 to 15 houses, and are out buy night fall.

    To get the best information in you area contact the Fire Prevention Officer in you local fire department.

    For general information visit the Nation Interagency Fire Center at
    www.nifc.gov
    and follow the Prevention & Education link


    carl

  4. #4
    Super Member
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    Location
    Shingle Springs California
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    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Fire season is here, please be prepared!

    Hi Carl.
    I like your point about making sure the road/driveway can handle fire apparatus.

    So many folks maintain a driveway for a car. What they do not think about is when a large truck needs to come in the driveway. On some calls, we have to walk the driveway, because the engine just cant clear the trees and brush. Even Medic units have hard times accessing some driveways. I've been down a few that looked like a tunnel in the brush, made for a Yugo.

    I was well aware of access issues, but that awareness has been heightened since I have been starting to drive apparatus. I'm training to drive, and learning to deal with access issues.

    Street names and house numbers are a biggie too. With all these private rural roads(at least in my area), I find many are not well marked. Many homes have no numbers either. This is especially a pain when it's dark and raining.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    81
    Location
    Middlebury, IN, USA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: Fire season is here, please be prepared!

    <font color=blue>Street names and house numbers are a biggie too. With all these private rural roads(at least in my area), I find many are not well marked. Many homes have no numbers either. This is especially a pain when it's dark and raining.</font color=blue>

    The local fire departments have been selling house number signs for the past three years. I don't know where they get the materials, but the signs are available in vertical or horizontal format, with 4 inch white reflective numbers on a reflective green background that's about six inches by eighteen inches (I may be off on the sizes -- they'll hold six digits).

    This is strctly voluntary, but most rural residents in this county have purchased the signs (wouldn't you like to have the EMT find the house on the first pass?). IIRC, the cost is $14 or so.

    You may want to think about a program like this.

    Tom

    OK, I measured the silly thing when I got home -- 6 inches by 18 inches, with 3 inch numbers. And I think the raw materials are supplied by the Indiana State Department of Corrections, because this looks an awful lot like the material the inmates make highway signs from. They are self-adhesive numbers, and the fire crews apply them as another boredom killer during the down-time of their shift.

    Tom

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    280
    Location
    Rindge, NH
    Tractor
    Kubota L48 (Ellie Mae)

    Default Re: Fire season is here, please be prepared!

    Our town re-numbered everybody a few years ago with a scheme that was supposed to correlate with the approximate distance down the road (e.g. 61 Somestreet meant that you were supposed to be around 0.6 miles down). I suppose this was supposed to eliminate the need to have clear numbers posted. Unfortunately, they totally botched the implementation and now they are talking about doing it again! Those folks that bought expense number plates or granite posts with engraved numbers aren't very happy.

    I'm now on my third street address. The latest actually changed streets because my driveway enters off of a side street and the original address was on the front street. I'm glad I have a tractor in case I have to move my 600 lb. granite fence post again...

    The plan sounds like a good idea - if they can implement it.

    -david

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    62
    Location
    Penryn, CA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3450

    Default Re: Fire season is here, please be prepared!

    Another think to think about are bridges. Make sure they can take the load of a loaded engine (500-1000 gal of water). We have some bridges that can not take the load. So we send a water tender along with the engine. Just before the engine crosses the bridge it dumps its load of water, it then crosses the bridge and waits. They then do a hose run from the water tender across the bridge to the engine and refill the engine. Adds about 5 min to the response time.

    Tom are you in the Grass Valley area? My sister lives there and bought the number signs for both her house and my house (I am in SCU)

    carl

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    81
    Location
    Middlebury, IN, USA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: Fire season is here, please be prepared!

    <font color=blue>Tom are you in the Grass Valley area? My sister lives there and bought the number signs for both her house and my house (I am in SCU)</font color=blue>

    I'm in (or near) an area known as 'Crystal Valley' for reasons I've yet to determine. Middlebury, Indiana, about 10 miles south of Michigan and just a bit east of the centerline of the state. The western fringe of the Amish territory this far north.

    Tom

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