October 20

Fall Can Bring Higher Wildfire Danger


Fall is here, but that doesn’t mean the danger of wildfire is gone. Major fires, including the 2015 Valley Fire, have started in the Fall.

With Fall’s arrival and the recent cooler weather, more people are outside working in their yards. While the weather seems to reduce wildfire danger, and does to an extent, the increased outdoor activity can actually increases the likelihood of a wildfire ignition.
The reality is increased outside activities can create a greater possibility of ignition. There is also a potential of being complacent with the false sense of security that Fall can bring.
Even some rains cannot erase the potential for fires. Burn pile escapes, house fires, vehicle fires, can all turn into a major event.  It takes a series of storms to substantially reduce wildfire danger.
Don’t be fooled. Live fuel moistures remain extremely low. Wildfire danger remains high.

Historically Fall Fires are not Uncommon

What do the Oakland Hills Fire of 1991, the Cedar Fire of 2003, the Witch Fire of 2007 and the Valley Fire of 2015 all have in common?  They all occurred during the Fall.
According to a 2015 report by the U.S. Forest Service, fire seasons now average about 78 days longer. Twice as many acres burn from wildfire. The 2015 Forest Service report also states that the acreage burned by wildfire is set to double again by the middle of the century.
The danger is real. Wildfire is a reality in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). We must remain vigilant.

Get Ready for Wildfire

Hopefully this isn’t the first you’ve heard about The Cascadel Ranch Fire Safe Council.
The County of Madera Firewise program is here to help you get educated about wildfire, so you can prepare for the inevitable wildfire coming our way. Wildfire is a seasonal event. It’s never too late to prepare. Fire season will be here next year too.
Always prepare your wildfire and emergency evacuation plan and go-kit first. Then harden your home and surrounding property against wildfire. Finally, when the wildfire comes, go early and stay safe.

Fall and Winter are the Perfect Time for Firewise

Fall and winter are the perfect time to take of all the little things that need to be done. From establishing an ignition free zone from your home to 5 feet out, to fuel reduction around your home, fall and winter allow you a relatively safe opportunity to prepare.
What is an ignition free zone around your home? The space five feet around your home free of any and all flammable material, including dried grass, bark , flammable plants, any other flammable or combustible material.
Getting and staying firewise is a never ending process. Chip away at it as much as you can. Do this all year long so you and yours will have a much better chance of staying safe and having a home to return to when the time comes.
Start Here to begin.
Roger Maybee
County of Madera Firewise Coordinator


Fall Season, Firewise, Wildfire

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