Gathered on the shores of Millerton Lake, the Sierra Nevadas in the background and the valley floor ahead, officials from Cal FIRE, US Forest Service, and the California Conservation Corps joined to raise awareness of the regular dangers posed to our communities by wildfires and encourage action among the community to help reduce wildfire risks.
Devastating wildfires threaten California every year, and to ensure Californians are ready, California’s Governor proclaims the first full week of May as “Wildfire Awareness Week”.
Wildfire Awareness Week is an opportunity to remind Californians, when it comes to wildfires, remember “Ready, Set, Go!”. Be READY for a wildfire by maintaining 100 feet of Defensible Space and hardening your home with fire resistant building materials. Be SET for a wildfire by having a wildfire action plan in place so you know what to take and where to go if you are evacuated. Lastly, GO early when a wildfire approaches or you are asked to evacuate.
Homeowners looking for additional information on how to prepare themselves, their families and their homes for wildfire can visit www.ReadyForWildfire.org. The site offers tips for residents to make their homes more resistant to wildfires and to ensure that their families are ready to evacuate early and safely when a wildfire strikes.
Despite records rain and snow levels in 2017, the extended period of severe drought that preceeded that winter and the lack of precipitation since, have left the landscape dry and highly vulnerable to wildfire threats. High tree mortality has left millions of trees dead or dying, and increased fuel loads that can result in fast moving, highly destructive wildfires.
During Wildfire Awareness Week, we encourage all Fresno County residents to learn and take action to reduce risks and be prepared in the event of a wildfire. Emergency responders and disaster management officials are working together to coordinate efforts and protect communities if and when the time comes, but it is the responsibility of every individual to understand their risks and know what to do should an emergency arise.