One District - One Purpose: The Northshore Fire Protection District has become more and more engaged with the communities throughout the Northshore. They have done this with various community events, attending Town Hall meetings and keeping the public updated with various safety announcements and interacting with individuals with questions about PG&E shutoffs, weed abatement, Fire Prevention Efforts, Defensible space, and much more. As Northshore Fire Chief, Mike Ciancio has stated many times..."it takes a village", which is a call to action for all of us to do what we can along with our Northshore fire protection district to make ourselves, our homes, and our communities accessible, safer, and better defended against the risks we face in Lake County, CA.
It's time to do our part … so what can we do as citizens to help Northshore Fire help us? Well, it can begin with getting to know our Northshore Fire Protection District better and those that work hard to provide these services to us. Next it's participating in the preventative efforts that need to get done. Learning how to prepare for Wildfire is part of the process and this entails keeping vegetation limited around our homes so they cannot easily ignite and reach our livable space, changing our landscape and maintenance in a way that will reduce ember ignitions, with things like trimming tree branches hanging over our homes, porch or decks. Furthermore, if we are building new or repairing/replacing elements of our home, using fire-resistive construction materials such as: Class A fire-rated roofing products, fire-resistant siding like brick, fiber-cement, plaster or stucco, and even dual-pane tempered glass windows that would provide our homes with the most safety from stray embers and radiant heat. We should also remember that we should never store flammable materials underneath decks or porches and that any dead vegetation and debris is removed from underneath and between deck board/joints.
Emergency preparedness does not just mean wildfire preparation, but also making sure that our Northshore Fire team can get to us in an emergency, whatever it might be and that calls for access and planning. First, ensure that your neighborhood and home have legible and clearly marked street names and numbers. This is important so that emergency response to your calls for help happen quickly. Driveways should be at least 12' wide with a vertical clearance of 15' for emergency vehicle access. Also, for your family it is very important to develop, discuss and practice an emergency action plan with everyone in your home, which includes details for pets, large animals and livestock, and people. Make sure there are at least two known ways out of your neighborhood and have a pre-designated meeting place or point of contact to check in with.
Much of this information comes from Firewise USA, which is an organization that helps residents to impact their communities by reducing wildfire risks in their neighborhoods and engages them in working together on cleanup programs and best preventative practices. For more information on the checklist items I have mentioned above, please go to Firewise.org and become involved or lead the efforts in your area. This is how we make a difference!
We still need to look ahead on how we can prevent future risks and be ready for emergencies when they come. We were not able to successfully pass Measure “N” last year which would have helped support our Northshore Fire Team to have the firefighters and personnel on working engines with protective equipment to quickly respond when we need them. They have shown through their daily interactions in all of our communities, as well as their efforts on major incidents, that they are here for us. It does take a village, and each one of us should be looking at ways to improve our properties safety and in turn help the neighborhoods where we live.
Blogs are posted by the Northshore Fire Fund Board Members. We would also welcome blogs submitted from our community members as well, if you would like to provide one, please email us at: email@example.com