Fire season preparation
By Bill Shubin, Kenwood Fire Chief
The fire season is now upon us and with the severe drought the Kenwood Fire Protection District would like everyone to remember, “Ready, Set, Go!” when it comes to wildfires.
Being Ready for wildfire starts by maintaining 100 feet of defensible space and reinforcing homes with fire resistant building materials.
Being Set includes an evacuation plan and Emergency Preparedness Kits.
Lastly, when a wildfire strikes, residents are urged to Go! and evacuate early.
If you have not done so already, it is time to clear the weeds and other dead vegetation from your property. Here are a few important tips to consider when clearing your property for fire season:
• Maintain 100-foot clearance around your homes, barns and other buildings. The first 30 feet should be cleared of dead brush, grass, leaves and other vegetation. The remaining 70 feet needs to be cleared of low-hanging branches and any other natural or manmade fuels that will allow fire to spread rapidly.
• Parcels less than five acres in size should have all combustible growth in excess of 4 inches in height disked or mowed. Disking slows re-growth and is more effective than mowing in slowing fire spread.
• Use power equipment on cool mornings before 10 a.m. Do not use this equipment during the heat of the day and when the wind is blowing.
• Limit use of lawnmowers on dry grass or brush and make sure to remove rocks around the area before operating such equipment.
• Portable gas powered equipment must be equipped with an exhaust pipe spark arrester and should never be re-fueled while equipment is hot from use.
o Keep private driveways and roads maintained for fire department apparatus.
• Remove rubbish and obstructions from your property.
• Remember to inspect your property periodically and abate any re-growth throughout the fire season.
Doing this will give firefighting crews an increased chance to protect you and your property.
Grilling safety tips
The Kenwood Fire Protection District would like to offer these grilling safety tips to prevent grill-related fires and other dangers:
• Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
• The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
• Keep children and pets away from grilling area.
• Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grill and in trays below the grill.
• Never leave your grill unattended.
• Charcoal burners and other open-flame devices should not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet of combustible construction.
Thanks for your support
Thank you to those of you who came to the Kenwood Firefighters' Association annual Crab Feed and the Easter Egg Hunt.
I would like to invite all of you to join the Kenwood Fire Explorers as they prepare a pancake breakfast for the community on Father's Day, June 21, at the fire station, located at 9045 Sonoma Hwy.
Kenwood firefighters need you
The Kenwood Fire Protection District is seeking volunteer firefighters. If you want a rewarding way to give back to our community contact us at 833-2042, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply stop by the fire station Monday through Friday during business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. No previous firefighting experience is necessary.
For more information on grilling safety, visit: www.nfpa.org/grilling.
100 Feet of Defensible Space: www.readyforwildfire.org.
Please feel free to stop by the fire station at 9045 Sonoma Hwy. in Kenwood for further guidance.