From my wonderful neighbor.
It’s another extremely dry summer (drought conditions), and we’re now in wildfire season (and will be for probably the next 5 months or so). Below are some links to local and national resources for fire prevention as well as other emergency preparedness and disaster response resources for any time of year (for earthquakes, floods, etc.).
Note: 95% of wildfires are caused by people (not lightning), i.e., they are preventable. Common causes are sparks from: fireworks; power equipment (e.g., lawnmowers, weedwhackers, tractors); campfires, fire pits, and grills; cigarette butts; vehicles (e.g., backfiring tailpipes, or driving/parking on dry grass); trailer chains dragging on pavement — or anything that can cause a spark or that can overheat, especially if it’s near dry grass or dry leaves or brush. When conditions are dry (and especially when it’s also windy), sparks can easily and quickly turn into out-of-control fires. Equipment like lawnmowers and weedwhackers should not be used on extremely dry, and/or windy or hot days (or it’s recommended that they only be used before 10 AM, on mornings when the grass is damp from dew and it’s not too breezy). Have buckets of water and hoses at the ready (and keep your yard/road frontage watered) on hot, dry, and/or breezy days (and on the 4th of July).
Reminder: it is illegal to set off ANY fireworks anywhere in unincorporated Sonoma County. The short-lived thrill is simply not worth the risk. Here are some groups, websites, and social media pages to check out (and follow): Your local fire departments, e.g., Gold Ridge Fire District https://www.facebook.com/grfd81/ , Graton Fire https://www.facebook.com/gratonfire/ CalFire Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit: https://www.facebook.com/CALFIRELNU/ CalFire: https://www.fire.ca.gov SoCo Emergency Alerts: https://socoemergency.org/home/emergency/stay-informed/socoalert/ Nixle alerts: http://www.nixle.com Pulse Point App: https://www.pulsepoint.org (you can choose to have it notify you of “Vegetation Fires” in Sonoma County; you’ll see how frequently they occur…) Red Cross mobile apps: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps.html Red Cross, Northern California Coastal Region: https://www.redcross.org/local/california/northern-california-coastal.html https://www.facebook.com/RedCrossNorCalCoastal/ National Weather Service for the San Francisco Bay Area (be aware when there are Red Flag warnings in the area): https://www.facebook.com/NWSBayArea/ Sonoma County Emergency management: https://socoemergency.org PG&E Power Shutoff info: https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/public-safety-event.page West County News Feed: https://www.facebook.com/Westcountynewsfeeed/ Sebastopol CERT: http://sebastopolcert.org Fire Safe Sonoma: http://firesafesonoma.org Sonoma CART (Community Animal Response Team): https://www.sonomacart.org/ https://www.facebook.com/sonomacart/ HALTER Project: https://www.facebook.com/halterproject/ Bodega Bay CERT: https://www.bodegabaycert.org Community and Disaster Response Team: https://www.facebook.com/CDResponse/ Ready for Wildfire: http://www.readyforwildfire.org Pre-evacuation prep info: http://www.readyforwildfire.org/Pre-Evacuation-Preparation/ How to Prepare for Emergencies: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies.html Get Ready, Be Ready: Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response (including emergency kit/evacuation checklists): https://www.TheGreenSpotlight.com/2019/01/disaster-preparedness/ Ready.gov: http://www.ready.gov Community Emergency Response Teams: https://www.ready.gov/community-emergency-response-team ASPCA Disaster Preparedness for pets/animals: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/disaster-preparedness Resilient Design Strategies: http://www.resilientdesign.org/resilient-design-strategies/ Disaster Supply Center: http://www.disastersupplycenter.com I hope these links are helpful to you. Feel free to share them with others you know. Be prepared and be safe, everyone. And let’s all look out for our neighbors.