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“Wildfire Awareness Week” Declared in California

After an active 2015 fire season, Governor Brown has declared this week, “Wildfire Awareness Week.”

During the week of May 1-7th, CAL FIRE will stress the critical role we play in preparing for fire season right now and throughout the year.

Last year was an active fire season for Santa Barbara County and several fires that have ignited recently shows this year could be the same.

Even though El Nino gave us some rain, the extreme drought conditions have still raised the wildfire danger.

“The rain we received this winter and spring has been great, but with over 29 million dead trees due to the drought and bark beetle, our fire conditions still remain elevated,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “While our firefighters are preparing for what could be another busy fire season, this week is an important reminder that all Californians must do their part and be ready.”

Santa Barbara County Fire Department is also asking residents to do their part.

“We ask that homeowners provide 100 foot perimeters around their structures, around residence for defensible space and our engine companies beginning on June 1st will go out. They’ll inspect, they’ll talk to homeowners,” said Captain Dave Zaniboni, public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Since the beginning of the year CAL FIRE cites responding to nearly 700 wildfires, and with wildfires on the rise they want Californians to be prepared, and to remember “Ready, Set, Go.”

Being prepared for a wildfire can be crucial for your survival and that of your property: Maintain 100 feet of defensible space, landscape yards with drought tolerant and fire resistant plants, have an evacuation plan and emergency supply kit, and in the event of a fire leave your property, evacuate early.

One Santa Barbara County resident spent the day prepping her property to meet defensible space standards.

“We also want our neighbors to work on. So if we all work on it together, we all have a bigger chance of surviving,” said Laurie Koc.

CAL FIRE is also reminding people that over 90% of wildfires in California are sparked by human activity, so “one Less, Spark, means One Less Wildfire.”

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