Napa County Wildfire Awareness Day    

“Napa County Wildfire Awareness Day” Was Full of Info

for Residents Living in Fire Prone Regions

Residents were treated to a plethora of information on June 17th at the Napa Expo, from fire safe landscaping & building tips, to fire extinguisher demonstrations and insurance information. Even State Senator Bill Dodd, and Napa County Supervisors Diane Dillon and Ryan Gregory were on hand to emphasize the importance of being prepared while living in such beautiful country. 

crowd

There was something to be learned by all, but, it was 100 degrees in Napa on the day of the event, so not many rural residents made the long trek to downtown, so here is a quick rundown of what you missed:

CAL Fire, the US Forest Service, and Smokey The Bear were all on hand to provide tips on what homeowners need to do to be prepared for wildfire. Go to www.ReadyForWildfire.org for an easy look at what homeowners need to be thinking about if they live in a forest. Napa County Fire also brought out their “Smoke Trailer” which gave people the chance to experience what it’s like to be in a building filling with smoke.

Smokey

While it started off just interesting, it quickly got scary seeing how fast the smoke accumulated. It was a great reminder to have fire extinguishers and an emergency evacuation plan ready.

The California Department of Insurance, Insurance Information Institute, and Farmers Insurance were also on hand to help people understand the details of what homeowners insurance covers, how it works, and also to stress the importance of preparation of the paperwork side of things. Check out their websites for information: www.Insurance.ca.gov, www.III.org, www.Farmers.com.

trucks

Napa County Office of Emergency Services (OES) was in attendance to get everyone signed up for Nixle, the e-mail and text notification system used in emergencies.  Go to www.countyofnapa.org/Emergencies to sign up.

The PG&E Public Safety Emergency Prep team was there to remind us all to call 811 “Before You Dig”, and also to point out all the utility safety info available on www.PGE.com.

The host of the event, CA Fire Safe Council, had their booth set up full of info on how to create your own community Fire Safe Council. Go to www.CAFireSafeCouncil.org to see how you can get your community involved.

Fire safe

The California Conservation Corps was on hand to recruit more workers, and drum up some work.  CCC is a great organization for young people to work for to learn a variety of skills from teamwork to construction, and they are available for hire by any organization in need of a great team.  They are self sufficient with all their own tools and a 10+ person crew, so go to www.CCC.ca.gov more info.

CCC

If you are wondering about training options for your volunteer fire department, Fire Service Training Institute was on hand with manuals and course outlines.  Go to www.CAFSTI.org for more info.

Davey’s Tree(www.Davey.com) and Kelly’s Tree Service(707-363-0038) were also on hand to offer us all defensible space solutions.  From weed whacking to tree removal, contact these companies to get the job done.

Because fire safety and defensible space starts in your yard, the California Native Plant Society and a Master Gardener were on hand with an awesome interactive Fire Safe Gardening Display, complete with more than 15 native and/or fire resistant plants that are recommended in our area. They are  all available for purchase right down the road at Van Winden’s Nursery.

Check out www.NapaValleyCNPS.org and http://ucanr.edu/sites/ucmgnapa/ for all sorts of info, and check out the August issue of the Lake Berryessa News for a full page Wildfire Safe Landscaping Guide for Napa County.

CNS

When preparing for wildfire, don’t forget about your pets and livestock!  Napa County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, the Jameson Animal Rescue Ranch, and HALTER(Horse and Livestock Team Emergency Response) were all on hand to remind us they are there if we need them, and they are also always looking for volunteers and donations.  To find out more, go here: www.countyofnapa.org/AnimalShelter, www.JamesonAnimalRescueRanch.org, www.HALTERfund.org.

Halter

Because fires can start with even the smallest of flames, it’s important to remember that even you can help if you have the common, easy, and proper home defense tools.  Of course, we are talking about fire extinguishers!  Napa based Best Fire Equipment(www.BestFireCo.com) was on hand offering fire extinguisher demonstrations/training, and also reminding you to get your household extinguishers checked and charged if needed.

And last, because what good is all of this hard work if you can’t have fun and enjoy you property or the park, Games All Out brought a bunch of giant outdoor kids games to keep everyone entertained.  Cause why not!  Go to www.GamesAllOut.com to check out their selection of activities!

Napa Communities are Fire Safe

While a homeowner’s defensible space is critical, a community wide effort is really needed to help defend against the big and small wildfires of this era, and that’s where the Fire Safe Councils jump in.  Eight Napa County neighborhoods have volunteers working with CAL Fire/Napa County Fire and the Napa Communities Firewise Foundation to look beyond a home's 100’ safe zone, working to create bigger picture defensible space projects that are geared to help everyone one way or another.

Deer Park, Berryessa Estates, Berryessa Highlands, Soda Canyon, Mt. Veeder, and Angwin were all on hand at the event sharing their projects with the public, and each other.  The neighborhoods made up of clusters of homes like the Berryessa Highlands and Estates were able to show the extra large “perimeters” of removed brush built around their neighborhoods, while the spread out neighborhoods like Angwin and Mt. Veeder are working diligently turning long ridgelines and roadways into “fuel breaks” that firefighters can use to stop a growing wildfire in its tracks.

veeder
Angwin

Ten years ago there was only one Fire Safe Council in all of Napa, and now years later tens of thousands to truckloads of brush have been removed from around these rural Napa communities.  Thanks to the support of residents, grant funding, the Napa County Board of Supervisors, and of course CAL Fire/Napa Co Fire, these groups of dedicated volunteers plan to continue their efforts to make their neighborhoods safer.

If you would like to learn more about your communities efforts, check out www.NapaFirewise.org.

Homeowners Doing Their Part

From preparing an evacuation plan, to doing yardwork, living in the forest requires additional preparation, and your life may depend on it.  With all the information provided at the event and through these organizations websites, homeowners now have the tools they need to be prepared for wildfire.

All of the Fire Safe Councils, fire personnel, and organizations in attendance want to thank homeowners for doing their part and being proactive. If you need to catch up, go to www.ReadyForWildfire.org for any information you need. The trick is that going on the website is the first step, but doing the work is the step that counts.

kids

 

pkilkus@gmail.com                       © Peter Kilkus 2017