Almanac

News - May 7, 2014

Higher wildfire risks seen

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is assigning extra staff to Northern California, including San Mateo County, due to the heightened wildfire risks. "The drought has set the stage for an already busy fire season," said Kelley Gouette, operations chief for Cal Fire's Northern Region.

Hiring and training of seasonal firefighters has been going on since late January, Cal Fire said.

The Woodside Fire Protection District is having a day-long wildfire drill in parts of Portola Valley, Los Trancos Woods and Vista Verde on Wednesday, May 7. Fire crews will simulate fighting an aggressive wildfire, with equipment being staged at Ford Field at 3399 Portola Road.

Neighborhoods included in the drill include Ramona, Old Spanish Trail, Joaquin and portions of Portola Valley Ranch, Fire Marshal Denise Enea says. The district covers Portola Valley, Woodside and nearby unincorporated communities.

Steps should be taken so that should a real fire break out, it does not spread, Ms. Enea said in January, in recognition that the drought was pushing up the traditional summertime start of fire season. "Homeowners need to be alert and cognizant of the potential seriousness of the situation which presently exists."

Go to tinyurl.com/fire223 for details on steps you can take.

Working with equipment outside is particular danger, Ms. Enea says. A garden hose or fire extinguisher should be nearby when using chain saws or welding equipment, when painting or staining, or when barbecuing.

Gutters, wooden decks and the ground near wood-sided buildings should be clear of leaf litter. Fireplaces should have working spark arrestors. "These simple measures may keep your house from igniting," Ms. Enea says.

The Woodside fire district's annual chipper program to lower wildfire risk begins Monday, May 5. Crews make one visit to every residential street in the fire district.

Go to tinyurl.com/fire224 for more information on the chipper program.

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields