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Fire Safe Council Meeting Monday, May 5th
An e-mail from Caroline Brown:
I am looking at a flyer that I got at a meeting put out by the US Forest Service and the California Fire Safe Council entitled: A Nearby Wildfire: The Great Motivator.
April 26-29, 2008--Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Sierra Madre, California--I would say that is more than "nearby." Were you well prepared? I drove around on Fire Patrol and witnessed lots of preparation for evacuation--thought out in advance: cars packed, pets in carriers, cars facing outward for the call to evacuate. Some of our members got out their Thermo-gel and positioned it to apply when the time was ready--laid out hoses, positioned ladders to their roofs.
Others put on their fire proof window and vent coverings. Many were happy they did all the brush clearance that was required.
Our next, "regularly scheduled" Fire Safe Council meeting is May 5, 2008 7-9 p.m. in the City Council chambers. There will be two topics: Continuing preparation for the wildfire season--our constant natural disaster -- and the consequences of the fire: the following winter rains and debris flow dangers and homeowner preparation.
It has been said that this was the continuance of the 2007 Wildfire Season not the beginning of the fire season for 2008. Last year Malibu had three wildfires, starting in January and then again in October and November.
A lot of brush remains on the hillsides above our homes in the open space conservation/wilderness area and the National Forest and in the foothills above Arcadia and Pasadena. One thing you can do, in addition to brush removal on your own property is to prevent "ember intrusion."
Please go to:http://firecenter.berkeley.edu/toolkit. Then click on Quick Links to "Homeowners Wildfire Assessment", under How to Use -- Go to Assessment. After taking the assessment you will get a customized report based on your answers.
There will be a survey consisting of 30 questions to answer on your home vulnerability to ember intrusion in six areas: roofing, vents, siding, eves, decking and windows. Please try to take this survey before you come to the meeting on May 5th.
Remember, there was no wind. If we had had this fire in October or November with 30, 40, 50 mile per hour winds we would have most likely had a much different outcome. The fire fighters (Sierra Madre, US Forestry, California Division of Forestry, fire departments from our neighboring cities) were superb and you saw them stationed all over our hillsides. Hot Shot ground crews from the US Forest Service and prison crews hacked back hot spots and cleared brush lines in steep terrain, under hot, grimy conditions wearing layers of fire protective clothing.
The skills of the pilots--the spotter fixed wing, the Foscheck bombers, the helicopter water droppers. The L.A. County Sheriffs, the Sierra Madre Police Department and their colleague departments from all over southern California kept order in our foothills, homeowners safe, outsiders out.
If you have concerns or questions about a procedure or experience that you faced in this past wildfire event, please address them to the City, respectful of the enormity and complexity of the event and with the goal of finding ways to improve the process. You may be directed to a particular group that was responsible to making a decision that you questioned. Remember: no homes were lost, no citizens were injured, no reported looting.
See you May 5th.
Caroline Brown, Public Relations
Sierra Madre Fire Safe Council