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May 3, 2011 > Wildfire Awareness Week

Wildfire Awareness Week

Submitted By Jenn Viane Riese, Santa Clara County Fire Safe Council

The threat of wildfire is a reality throughout California and for many communities within Santa Clara County. The first week of May has been designated by Governor Jerry Brown and CAL FIRE as Wildfire Awareness Week.

The Santa Clara County Fire Safe Council (SCFSC), a non-profit organization dedicated to wildfire prevention, is working with fire agencies and other partners to reach out to residents with Defensible Space Chipping Programs and Community Outreach and Education Programs. In 2010, these programs, which reduced hazardous fuels in selected areas of the county, helped protect 4,380 homes, 12,990 people, and $4.3 Billion in property values.

The Fire Safe Council, Smokey Bear, and partner fire agencies, including CAL FIRE, Santa Clara County Fire Department, San Jose Fire Department, and Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Department, will be participating in community events to educate the public, especially those living in Wild land Urban Interface areas, to create and maintain Defensible Space clearance around homes and structures 100 feet or to the property line (per Public Resources Code 4291 - a state law which went into effect in January 2005). Efforts are also targeted at raising awareness for fire-safe behavior for all residents, including youth, planning to visit city, county and state parks.

"A large number of wildfires are human caused and therefore preventable" states FireSafe Council President, Jerry Serpa, Assistant Chief with the Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Department. "Recent rain does not mean a low fire risk this year. We're facing a long, hot fire season and counting on residents to be smart and engage in fire-safe activities."

To learn more about free Defensible Space Chipping Programs or volunteer with the Santa Clara County Fire Safe Council, visit www.SCCFireSafe.org or call (408) 975-9591.

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