FIRESafe MARIN News

Wildfire Safety Blog and News from FIRESafe MARIN.

Last Week's Wildfires Rank 3rd and 7th Most Destructive in California History.

Last Week's Wildfires Rank 3rd and 7th Most Destructive in California History.

CAL FIRE has released damage assessments for last week's wildfires in California, revealing a total of 2,684 structures burned on the two fires, including 1,783 on the Valley Fire south of Clearlake, and 901 on the Butte Fire south of Jackson. Five residents died in these fires.

For the purposes of this report, “structures” includes residences, outbuildings, and commercial properties.

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One in Three California Homes at Risk of Wildfire

One in Three California Homes at Risk of Wildfire

From USA Today:

A third of homes in California are located in areas prone to wildfires, according to data from the U.S. Forest Service, a startling statistic that helps explain the fires that destroyed hundreds of homes in the state over the weekend.

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Engaging children of all ages in wildfire safety efforts

This year’s fire season has drastically affected many Americans across the nation. It has been so sad to hear about the tragic loss of lives, and property.  Children especially can feel vulnerable and scared when they hear about these events and have not had any education about what they can do to be prepared and help their family prepare before a wildfire.

NFPA has launched a new campaign called TakeAction in collaboration with State Farm Insurance that highlights activities and a contest for youth from the 6th through 12thgrades.   Take a look at the videos and opportunities for this age group to learn about what they can do and perhaps win a scholarship for project work completed. Information and resources for younger children are also available on the NFPA website. 

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Lake County Wildfire Burns Whole Communities Overnight Saturday

Lake County Wildfire Burns Whole Communities Overnight Saturday

FIRESafe MARIN is keeping our neighbors in Lake County in our thoughts, as dozens of Marin County Firefighters assist battling an "explosive" wildfire that started yesterday, growing to 40,000 acres in the first 16 hours (now 70,000 acres and still growing 4 days later).  Less than 40 miles from Marin, the communities of Cobb and Middletown, east of Calistoga and north of Napa suffered severe damage, with early reports from Marin firefighters on the scene indicating that nearly every home and business in the downtown areas may have been damaged or destroyed.  Mandatory evacuations are currently underway as the fire continues to spread rapidly towards other communities, including Hidden Valley, Lower Lake, Kelseyville, and others.  Another  fire experiencing explosive growth is burning in the sierra foothills near San Andreas, stretching statewide firefighting resources thin.  Fire infomation is available here...

As we review news footage and first hand reports, it reminds us of the critical importance "wildfire embers" play in spreading fires through the wildland/urban interface.  Many of the images we've seen showing homes and businesses burning show that the structures likely had adequate "defensible space," but may not have been well protected from wind blown embers.  

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Marin Firefighters Quickly Extinguish Five Wildfires Friday

Marin Firefighters Quickly Extinguish Five Wildfires Friday

Friday September 11, Marin firefighters responded to five wildfires.  A morning wildfire in Point Reyes National Seashore was followed by three nearly simultaneous grass fires in Marinwood, Novato, and Hamilton.  A fifth fire was reported 45 minutes later in Chileno-Valley near the Sonoma Marin border.  The Marinwood, Alameda Del Prado, and Hamilton fires are considered suspicious and are under investigation.   Dozens of homes were threatened during a week where wildfires burned in several Marin communities, including Greenbrae and San Rafael Thursday.

FIRESafe MARIN reminds Marin residents to take action now to protect your home and family - it's not too late, as the worst months of fire-season still lay ahead.  Take a look at our 7 part series on protecting your home for a one week plan to prepare your home and family for wildfire.  Then use the helpful resources on our website to learn more about wildfire safety!

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FIRESafe MARIN Partners Work on Marin Wildfire Prevention Projects

FIRESafe MARIN Partners Work on Marin Wildfire Prevention Projects

FIRESafe MARIN, Working with PG&E, Marin County Fire Department, the Tamalpais Fire Crew, Marin County Parks and Open Space, Towns of San Anselmo, Mill Valley, Novato, Kentfield Fire Protection District, and local homeowner groups is nearing completion of several important wildfire fuel reduction projects in Marin.  Funded by PG&E, these projects will help reduce wildfire fuels and vegetation stressed by Marin's ongoing drought.

Marin County Fire Department's Tamalpais Fire Crew is seen here as they work on a eucalyptus thinning project near Ridgewood Fire Road on the Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Divide Open Space Preserve. Moments later, the Fire Crew was dispatched to help fight a wildfire near Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae.

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Marin Wildfires Highlight Extreme Fire Danger

Two wildfires Friday and Saturday August 14 and 15 highlight Marin's wildfire danger, as dozens of large fires burn across California and the western US.  Friday afternoon, a two acre vegetation fire burned in San Rafael near the Northgate Mall, threatening structures as firefighters arrived.  Arson is suspected in the San Rafael fire.  Earlier today, a vegetation fire ignited near the Bon Tempe water treatment plant above Phoenix Lake in Ross.  Firefighters contained the fire at just 1/8 acre despite the hot, dry conditions.

Fire Managers in the Marin County Fire Department Emergency Command Center in Woodacre were able to locate and monitor the Phoenix Lake fire using Marin's Wildfire Detection Camera System.

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Marin Smoke Information

Marin Smoke Information

FIRESafe MARIN is fielding numerous questions from concerned citizens regarding smoke in Marin and the Bay Area.   The US National Weather Service San Francisco Bay Area/Monterey California reports that smoke from Trinity area fires and other Northern California fires has drifted slightly east and south overnight and in the early morning hours and continues to do so. Reports have been coming in across the Bay Area and winds look to be somewhat consistent today, so it is hard to tell when the smoke may dissipate or get blown out of the area. The cool down and return of onshore breezes on Monday may be the ticket, but changes in wind pattern tomorrow may also help. Hard to tell at this point, but we hope you all are dealing with the haze and smoke in a safe manner. Any suffering from asthma may want to get inside, but smoke levels aren't expected to become very heavy.

Current Fire Information

Many people have asked for information on the status of current wildfires.  A good resource for finding current fire information is CAL Fire (http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/incidents_current) for fires on state lands,  or Inciweb (http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/5/#) for fires on federal lands.  These websites will not typically provide details on small wildfires in Marin, and our local fire agencies often do not have the resources to update their websites during fires.  Local evacuation and incident information is provided by the Marin County Office of Emergency Services and Sheriff's office.  Local fires that do not trigger evacuations will typically be noted on the FIRESafe MARIN or local fire department's website the following day.

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KRON 4 Profiles Marin Wildfire Detection Cameras; Cameras Monitor Marin Fires

KRON 4 Profiles Marin Wildfire Detection Cameras; Cameras Monitor Marin Fires

Marin's new wildfire detection camera system was profiled Friday by the Bay Area's KRON4 News.  August 14 and 15, the high-tech system was used by Marin's fire service to monitor and locate wildfires in San Rafael and Ross.  Each wildfire was contained quickly, despite hot, dry conditions.

MARIN COUNTY (KRON) — Marin County Firefighters have a new tool to spot and fight wildfires.

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Marin Magazine Highlights Wildfire Detection System

Marin Magazine Highlights Wildfire Detection System

FIRESafe MARIN and Marin County Fire Department's remote fire detection camera system was featured in the July issue of Marin Magazine!

The July issue has been delivered, and their digital edition is available online. Click here to read the Marin Magazine digital edition article...

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FIRESafe MARIN   |   P.O. Box 2831  |   San Anselmo, CA 94979   |   (415) 570-4FSM {4376}   |   info@firesafemarin.org

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