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.
Like nearby Lake County, Marin is experiencing a record drought, and a spate of recent wildfire ignitions shows that it can happen here. Even if you have taken time to create defensible space, consider taking a day to help protect your home from embers.
Photos courtesy of the Press Democrat