It’s Fire Season and Area Firefighters Are Ready: Are You?

"Oasis Fire from June 30, 2012. Photo courtesy Of Heath Rhoades"

By Nikki Garrett Metzger

(Victor Valley) – You’ve heard the news – it is officially fire season.  What does that mean to the High Desert?  As we learned last week, any place is susceptible to fire.  The Oasis fire along the border with LA County burned in brush off Hwy 138 in Pinon Hills.  The fire in Summit Valley last month threatened homes and closed the roadway. And there have been a few small fires in recent weeks in the Cajon Pass that have been quickly put out by fire crews.

This year has been a dry one and there is less moisture in the brush and trees, according to fire officials. With the threat of thunderstorms this week, lightning mixing with dry conditions could spark a wildfire.

San Bernardino County fire officials say their crews are prepared and have plans in place to stop or prevent large fires.

“Our crews train constantly to fight brush and wildfires,” said San Bernardino County Fire Department spokeswoman Tracey Martinez. “We move around equipment and manpower on the threat of lightning storms. We move whatever we have to just to be prepared.”

Martinez explained that there are crews specially trained to provide structure protection by getting in front a fire, determine its path, and douse homes and buildings in the way with a clear gel that slows the burning process down to a minimum. “It only takes one spark to start a giant wildfire like the one in Colorado,” Martinez said.

Contrary to common perception, a wildfire does not have to burn everything in its path, according to fire officials. In fact, clearing property of debris and maintaining landscaping are important, yet simple, first steps that homeowners can take to help protect their homes from fire.

“Residents can do their part and take simple steps today to lessen the risk of damage if a wildfire occurs,” Martinez said. “We’ll do our part to save homes and lives.”

Learn more about protecting your home from wildfire at the San Bernardino County Fire Department website

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