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CAL FIRE Fire Season Outlook
2019 Fire Season

As I look forward to the 2019 fire season, I am at a loss for what to expect in any way. Those days of winter weather giving us an idea of the severity of the upcoming fire season are gone. We are all in a similar state of anxiety moving forward into spring and summer. Fire season has become an entirely new experience for those who live in rural areas and those that fight the fires in them. In my 30 years as a California state firefighter I have never seen fires like those that have occurred over the past few years with every year being worse than the last. The fires have been relentless, and most people are forever changed by what they experienced, both homeowners and firefighters alike.

Living on the coast and specifically The Sea Ranch absolutely has its benefits. The coastal influence brings with it higher humidity and cooler temperatures, so the days where those catastrophic fires can occur are less than many other places in California. With that said, it is important to make very clear that it can happen here, and we must prepare for that possibility.

The Sea Ranch community is one of the best in its proactive approach to fuels management and fire safety. We must maintain our admirable practice of homeowners being diligent in their efforts regarding the fuels management around their homes and complying with the defensible space regulations. With all the rain that occurred this year, you may need to mow several times to keep up with the grass growth. As a part of your overall wildfire preparedness, make sure that you have a "what you would do and what you would take" plan prior to the need to evacuate. Also know every route from your home in the event of an evacuation.

CAL FIRE employees have started fuel management inspections on portions of The Sea Ranch. Please take a good look at your property and don't wait for a formal inspection to start your fuels management. Defensible space around your home, following Public Resources Code 4291 (see pages 6-7), is the single most important measure you can take to increase the survivability of your home and increase the safety of the firefighters protecting it. If you have any questions about fuels management or evacuation planning or you would like to request an inspection, please call CAL FIRE at 785-2648. You can also find information specific to defensible space and evacuation planning at the CAL FIRE website http://readyforwildfire.org/.

Thank You,

Shelley Spear
Fire Captain CAL FIRE/North Sonoma Coast Fire Protection District

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