Fire Safe Council Needs Volunteers

Jan 24, 2013 9:05 PM

Are you prepared for the next big wildfire? It may be months away but now is the time to get fire-safe. Cal Fire and the Shasta Fire Safe Council gathered Thursday to touch on the subject.

As devastating as many of the fires were last summer, they could have been much worse if not for hard work put in prior to fire season.

Inside Cal Fire Station 58 on Thursday morning, local fire safe council members explained how recent work reduced catastrophe last year.

“One of the things that happened as a result of the fuel breaks is that cal fire had a place to mobilize and to fight the fire which they did not have before,” said Sharon Paquin-Gilmore of the Battle Creek Watershed Conservancy.

Fuel breaks around Manton actually helped contained the spread of the Ponderosa fire in August of 2012.

“You are basically creating a fire safe community so that if a fire does occur the local residents have a fighting chance of getting out,” said Jack Bramhall of the Shasta County Fire Safe Council.

“This is just a wall of brush and this is not going to be safe for doing firefighting,” Linda Galvin of Cal Fire explains, fire breaks are areas where understory or ladder fuels, which burn quickly, have been removed.

“There are no guarantees but if we can have a fighting chance to stop the fire before it gets to their house. So much the better,” said Galvin.

There are currently about 200 miles of fire breaks across Shasta County and the Fire Safe Council wants to double that while maintaining the current fire breaks.

“We don’t have any paid staff so we rely on volunteer labor to achieve all of those objectives,” said Richard Van Wyhe, President of the Shasta County Fire Safe Council.

The Shasta County Fire Safe council and the 11 smaller councils it oversees all need help.

To lend a helping hand to your local fire safe council, visit the Shasta County Fire Safe Council website.


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