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Wild Fires in our Community... are you Prepared?

Many people in our community live in urban interface areas or inner city areas adjacent to vacant lots which contain dry and overgrown vegetation that can present a fire interface danger. The fire interface is any point where the fuels feeding uncontrolled fire changes from natural (wildland) fuels to the fuels adjacent to our homes. The area between these two fuels should be maintained to a point that allows us to have “defensible space”.

Every year the Bakersfield Fire Department responds to interface fires that threaten and destroy homes. These fires often begin unnoticed, but they spread quickly, igniting combustibles and eventually endangering the homes of the citizens we serve.

The Bakersfield Fire Department is asking that you reduce your risk by being prepared before fire strikes. Prepare your home and create “defensible space”. Meet with your family and neighbors to decide what to do and where to evacuate if fire threatens your neighborhood. Follow the steps listed below to protect your family, home, and property.

Practice Fire Safety

✔ Remember, people start most wildfires – we must promote and practice fire safety.

✔ Report hazardous conditions that could cause fires

✔ Teach children about fire safety, and keep matches and lighters out of their reach

✔ Ensure adequate accessibility for large fire apparatus to your property

✔ Maintain your home with fire safety in mind.

✔ Remove rubbish, dead weeds, grass, and trees from around your home. (City of Bakersfield Ordinance 3070 and COB Ordinance 3275)

✔ Remove dead weeds, grass, trees, trash and debris from vacant lots and property. (COB Ordinance 3182)

✔ Keep combustible piles at least 30’ to 100’ from your home.

✔ Do not burn debris in open pits or in burn barrels

✔ Ask utility companies to clear branches from power lines

✔ Store gasoline, oily rags and other flammable materials in approved safety cans. Place cans in a safe location away from the base of buildings.

✔ Clear a 10-foot area around propane tanks and barbecue appliances

✔ Stack firewood away from your home. Use only wood-burning devices evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

When Fire Threatens

If you are warned that a fire is threatening your area, follow the instructions of local officials. Your safety and well-being is our number one priority. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

For additional information regarding “defensible space” and fire safety, please visit:

City of Bakersfield Code Enforcement website: www.bakersfieldcity.us/cityservices/devsrv/codeenforce/index.htm

FireWise website: www.firewise.org

California Fire website: www.fire.ca.gov/fire_prevention/fire_prevention_wildland.php

Bakersfield Fire Department website: www.bakersfieldcity.us/fire

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