Wildfire Awareness Week 2007
Published: Friday, October 07, 2011
Written by Gabor Filo
Why 100 feet?
Because Defensible Space is YOUR responsibility
SCFSC plans wildfire awareness events as pilot Chipping Program lets chips fly!
The James Lick High School and SCFSC team at San Jose Water Company's Water Awareness Night last year
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and CAL FIRE (formerly the CDF) have declared May 6-12 as Wildfire Awareness Week this year. Fire departments and fire safe councils throughout the state of California will be educating the public about the need to create Defensible Space and practice fire safety in our parks and wildland areas.
SCFSC will be working with our fire agency and other partners to reach out to residents living in many of the county’s 14 Communities at Risk for wildfire. Thanks to San Jose Water Company, SCFSC will once again be at the San Jose Municipal Stadium on May 11th for the Water Awareness Night festivities which precede a San Jose Giants game. Students from James Lick High School will be working with us to distribute Smokey Bear materials to children attending this event. Then, on May 12th, SCFSC will distribute wildfire awareness materials at the Boy Scout Scout-o-Rama at Kelley Park in San Jose.
In addition, we are working with area organizations on a new Banner Program in which we aim to hang Wildfire Awareness Week banners from strategic locations around the county.
While we are busy educating, we will also be launching our pilot Chipping Program – putting our “money where our mouth is,” so to speak – by helping residents in East Foothills, Lexington Hills, Gilroy, Morgan Hill and San Martin reduce Hazardous Fuels on their properties and in their community.
The theme “Why 100 Feet?” is a reminder to residents living in the Wildland Urban Interface that Public Resources Code 4291 - a state law which went into effect in January 2005 - extended the Defensible Space clearance around homes and structures from 30 feet to 100 feet or the property line.
Proper clearance to 100 feet dramatically increases the chance of your house surviving a wildfire. This defensible space also provides for firefighter safety when protecting homes during a wildland fire. With summer – and Wildfire Season – around the corner, residents should begin planning how to incorporate these regulations into their landscaping plan.
Santa Clara County residents have a clear choice in making fire safe decisions if they live in a wildland area. Clearance, installing and maintaining a fire resistant landscape, replacing wood shake roofs, building with fire resistant materials, using spark arrested gas power tools only before 10 a.m., and reporting suspicious activity are just some of the choices that can make a difference.
Wildfire Awareness Week is sponsored annually by the California Fire Safe Council, CAL FIRE (formerly CDF) and, locally, by the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council and fire protection agencies in Santa Clara County.