California has already experienced an increase in fire activity, and to ensure Californians are ready, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has declared May 5-11, 2013 as “Wildfire Awareness Week.” During Wildfire Awareness Week Cal Fire is reminding residents of the dangers from wildfires and the simple steps that should be followed to prepare and prevent them.
“The conditions right now are what we should be experiencing in June,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, Cal Fire Director. “This year’s dry winter has resulted in a significant increase in fire activity, in fact Cal Fire firefighters have responded to nearly 1,100 wildfires this year, which is over 500 more than average.”
According to the state’s final snow survey on May 2, the statewide snowpack water content is only 17 percent of normal. From January through May 2, nearly 23,000 acres have burned in California, which is significantly more than the 1,250 acres that had burned for the same time period last year.
During Wildfire Awareness Week, Cal Fire is reminding Californians that when it comes to wildfires, remember “Ready, Set, Go!”
Being ‘Ready’ for a wildfire starts by maintaining 100 feet of defensible space and hardening homes with fire resistant building materials.
“It’s critical that residents prepare for wildfires by maintaining 100 feet of defensible space around all homes,” said Chief Pimlott. “Most wildfires are preventable and we need residents and vacationers to be extra cautious outdoors so we can prevent wildfires from occurring in the first place.”
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.