Tag Archives: fire safety tips

Fighting Fire with Fire: Ventura County Crews Use Controlled Burns to Prevent Wildfires | Corona, CA

Jeremy Childs, Ventura County Star Published 1:54 p.m. PT May 30, 2019 | Updated 10:05 a.m. PT May 31, 2019

A new study backs up what Ventura County firefighters already knew: A controlled blaze at a time and place of their choosing can prevent a disaster later. With that in mind, local firefighters became fire starters when they conducted their first controlled burn of the year to get rid of built-up vegetation that can fuel a brush blaze into a monster wildfire.

Controlled burns like Wednesday’s – which cleared at least seven acres of tall grass on a ranch in Hidden Valley – can also revitalize soil and give trainees the skills to battle wildfires. Yet despite their effectiveness, a study concluded not enough controlled burns are taking place in the western U.S. to keep wildfires from raging out of control.

The study by University of Idaho researcher Crystal A. Kolden laid the blame mostly on federal agencies that control large amounts of land in the West.

But Kolden conceded that the agencies’ resources are also consumed by firefighting instead of prevention and that they’re dealing with a public that’s more fearful of controlled burns in the western U.S. than elsewhere. Public concerns include excessive smoke and flames getting out of control.

Even if federal agencies seem reluctant to conduct controlled burns, state and local agencies aren’t, the study found.

“Whenever we have to opportunity to do them, we do them,” said Capt. Brian McGrath, a spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department.

He said his agency is committed to using controlled burns to prevent wildfires, a sentiment echoed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire.

Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said the state has stepped up its prevention efforts after a series of major wildfire seasons that included Ventura County’s Thomas, Woolsey and Hill fires. “The idea behind it is to provide for the safety and protection of property and bring our forests and lands back to resiliency,” McLean said, noting that the recent drought has increased the amount of dry vegetation that fuels wildfires.

‘We have a lot of work ahead of us’

Tasked by Gov. Gavin Newsom with identifying the top 35 areas where fuel-reduction efforts are needed, Cal Fire has come up with about 90,000 acres of land to target. As of early May, Cal Fire had burned 10,518 acres this year, according to McLean, a number that’s grown in the past 30 days.

The state has increased funding for the efforts, letting Cal Fire dedicate six hand crews to thinning wildfire fuel, and has sent 110 National Guard troops to help for six months.

Cal Fire has also performed about 100,000 inspections of defensible spaces this year, and aims to complete 250,000 through December. Despite the doubled-down efforts, McLean cautioned against thinking the problem is taken care of with extra money and resources. “We have a lot of work ahead of us for quite some time,” he said.

The burden in California may be on Cal Fire and local agencies.

Kolden’s study, published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Fire, showed that in places where controlled burns have increased in the past two decades, they’ve mostly been conducted by state or local agencies. In the same period, controlled burns by federal agencies shrank from more than 90% of burns to less than 30%.

Kolden found that from 1998 to 2018, controlled burns grew in acreage by 5% per year throughout the U.S., although there was a 2.3% decrease in Southern California. Kolden found 70% of all controlled burns and 98% of the increase was in the southeastern U.S., which Kolden said could be why that region has seen fewer recent wildfire disasters than the western U.S.

‘There’s a lot to take into account’

While the Ventura County Fire Department may be sold on the idea, conducting controlled burns is easier said than done, according to McGrath. Choosing the location alone can be complicated. “You have to take into consideration the impact on wildlife, water runoff, the type of fuel,” McGrath said. “There’s a lot to take into account.”

The jurisdiction of the land can also play a huge role, as state or federal land is more highly regulated than county or privately-owned land.

“It’s a lot easier to do on private property,” McGrath said. “We’re under the same protocol as an agriculture company burning their crops.”

Even with a location picked out, unexpected factors such as high temperatures or gusty winds can delay controlled burns. McGrath said his agency works closely with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District to determine the best days to perform burns.

But Mother Nature sometimes beats firefighters to the punch.

“We had a half dozen scheduled, and the Thomas Fire took them all out,” McGrath said.

Jeremy Childs is a breaking news and public safety reporter covering the night shift for the Ventura County Star. He can be reached by calling 805-437-0208 or emailing jeremy.childs@vcstar.com.

For more information about wildfire safety, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Kick Off the Summer Safely | Corona, CA

There is nothing more enjoyable than a three-day weekend, unless it’s a three-day weekend in the warmer months. And the kickoff to these summertime festivities is Memorial Day weekend. And it doesn’t matter if you celebrate with a camping trip or just a simple BBQ at home, fun in the sun is the main objective. Unfortunately, with these hot days and warm nights comes outdoor activities and fires, so it is important to keep fire safety in mind while you are grilling those hot dogs and burgers. So, keep these tips in mind at your next summertime event and enjoy your long weekend safely:

Keep water close. Any time there is fire present, keeping a bucket of water within reach will save a lot of time and damages in your bonfire or nearby debris happens to catch on fire.

Carefully choose your location. If you plan on having a BBQ or a firepit, make sure to inspect the surrounding areas for anything that could possible catch on fire. Embers have a tendency to fly away, so a clear area is best.

Clean your grill. Grease fires are some of the worst fires and BBQ grills tend to have lots of grease build-up collecting in the crevices and grills. Make sure to keep your grills clean before every warm season.

Put out the flames. Make sure to extinguish all sources of fire before going to bed or leaving the area. Prevention is key to fire safety so throw some water or sand on top of your fiery fun so nothing happens to the area while you aren’t looking.

For more information about summer fire safety, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Fire investigators Inspect Properties as Wildfire Season Nears | Corona, CA

By Dale Yurong Updated 2 hours ago

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Cal Fire crews and California National Guard troops continue work on a fuel reduction project in the Prather area. It’s designed to create fuel breaks and help keep foothill and mountain residents safe. But homeowners like Wayne Wilhelm are also doing their part. The 71-year-old knows how dangerous wildfires can be.

“I did not want my house to be one of those that get burnt like Paradise and things like that,” he said. “I feel like my house in a fire would probably survive the situation.”

Cal Fire inspectors have been out educating people on the need to clear 100 feet of defensible space around their home. Weeds, grass, even rubbish can pose a potential fire threat and allow flames to spread quickly.

“A lot of times with wildfires there’s high winds and there’s embers blown around by the fire,” said Seth Brown. “We want people to make their home hardened so an ember doesn’t get into a tight space or into a hole, an eave, into the attic.”

Tulare County Fire crews begin their inspections May 1, but Cal Fire inspectors have been visiting homeowners for a few months now.

Wilhelm’s fire season preparation is seen as ideal though he knows many people in the foothills have some catching up to do.

“I have a neighbor next door to me who has a lot of brush, a lot of stuff on his property,” he said. “I’ve commented to him he needs to clean it up even though he physically can’t do it himself, he can hire people to do it.”

Firefighters recommend you do outdoor property maintenance before 10 a.m. before it warms up and not do the work when it’s windy.

As we’ve seen in past years, rocks hitting metal blades can cause sparks which lead to a fire.

For more information about fire season preparations, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

The ABCs of Household Burn Prevention | Corona, CA

Accidental firesWe are often talking about how to prevent and protect yourself from fires, but there are times when it cannot be prevented, and we become injured. A burn can come in many forms, especially within a household; whether it be from a kitchen accident or just being too hasty taking a bite of that deliciously hot slice of pizza. This is why it is so important to be aware of your surroundings when using even the most modest of hazardous household items. And because February hosts Burn Awareness Week, let’s take a quick look at how you can protect yourself and your family from running into any of these common home-based burn threats:

Keep an eye on appliances such as irons, curling irons or hair dryers that can heat up quickly or stay warm after use. Avoid contact with your skin while in use and unplug these items once finished.

Cleansers, weed killers, and pool chemicals can cause burns because of the strong chemicals used. Keep these locked away/out of reach.

Make a habit of placing matches, gasoline and lighters in a safe place, out of children’s reach. And if you have little ones, avoid novelty lighters or lighters that look like toys.

When making electrical repairs, always turn off circuit breakers beforehand; avoid using electrical appliances while showering or wet; use child safety plugs in all outlets; keep electrical cords out of children’s reach.

When it comes to heating the home, create a safety zone to keep children and pets away from heating devices such as woodstoves, fireplaces, portable heaters, and furnaces.

For more information about burn prevention, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

How to Help California Fire Victims | Corona, CA

By Julia Jacobs | Nov. 11, 2018

Three wildfires in California have displaced hundreds of thousands of people and destroyed thousands of homes. So far, dozens of people have been confirmed dead and hundreds more are missing.

Vast expanses of land have been scorched in Northern California by the Camp Fire — the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history — and in Southern California by the Woolsey and Hill Fires.

Here’s how you can help.

Remember to do your research on a charity’s reputation for using donations effectively. Charity Navigator is a good source to consult. Also, remember that sending money is almost always the most efficient way to help in a disaster, according to the Center for International Disaster Information, part of the United States Agency for International Development. If volunteers on the ground end up with a mountain of donated goods, they’ll have to spend time sorting through them rather than buying exactly what’s needed.

For nonprofits that are seeking donations, click here.

There are also multiple crowdfunding efforts for victims of the California fires. GoFundMe has organized a page that catalogs the relief efforts in Northern and Southern California. It includes links to donate to families who have lost their homes.

Google is collecting donations to help those affected by the wildfires in Southern California. It will funnel the donations to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which will distribute the money to local nonprofits.

Additionally, Airbnb has launched a program that asks people to open their homes to those affected by the fires. Until Nov. 29, the company is allowing residents to mark their homes as a place for evacuees and aid workers to stay for free.

For more information about how to help, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Crispy Nights Call for Toasty Fires | Corona, CA

As the autumn months progress and the temperatures are slowly beginning to drop, we all begin to prepare for the chilly weather by warming up our homes. And if you have a fireplace, wood or pellet stove, this means it’s time to prepare your fireplace and chimney to ensure a safe season. Let’s take a look at some of these steps…

First thing’s first, everything needs a good cleaning. If you have a chimney, hire a licensed chimney specialist to not only give a good your chimney a good cleaning, but can also check for any issues that may have come up during the warmer months. Clean your stoves and fireplaces as well and make sure you don’t have any combustible items near a flame.

When you light your fires, make sure the flue is open to vent properly and keep mesh guards to ensure no embers escape. Conversely, if you have glass doors in front of your fireplace, keep those doors open to ensure the fire completes combustion and reduce creosote build-up in your chimney.

Never leave a fire unattended – make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed. After your fire, you will have plenty of ashes. They need to cool, at times it can take up to several days, before disposal. Keep the ashes in a metal can at least 10 feet away from your home.

Autumn is a beautiful time of year, one that is welcomed by toasty fires and hot apple cider. Don’t let accidents ruin this snuggly time.

For more information about fireplace maintenance, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

Prepare for Anything: Evacuation Edition | Corona, CA

It seems everywhere we look, there is a wildfire threatening some part of California. Not only is it sweeping through forests and other wildlife, but residential areas are becoming affected, leaving many family’s without shelter due to evacuation. Being prepared for evacuation is not only going to make you feel better but will also help keep your family calm during these stressful times. Here is a checklist of things you should keep in mind during these summer dangers:

Inside the House

  • Shut all windows and doors, leaving them unlocked.
  • Remove flammable window shades, curtains and close metal shutters.
  • Remove lightweight curtains.
  • Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from windows and doors.
  • Shut off gas at the meter; turn off pilot lights.
  • Leave your lights on so firefighters can see your house under smoky conditions.
  • Shut off the air conditioning.

Outside

  • Gather up flammable items from the exterior of the house and bring them inside (patio furniture, children’s toys, door mats, trash cans, etc.) or place them in your pool.
  • Turn off propane tanks and move BBQ away from structures.
  • Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters. Fill water buckets and place them around the house.
  • Leave exterior lights on so your home is visible to firefighters in the smoke or darkness of night.
  • Put your emergency supply kit in your vehicle.
  • Have a ladder available for firefighters to quickly access your roof.
  • Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals.

Animals

  • Locate your pets and keep them nearby.
  • Prepare farm animals for transport and think about moving them to a safe location early.

For more information about evacuation tips, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona and all surrounding areas.

Be Prepared for Accidental Fires | Corona, CA

fire extinguisher serviceIt’s vital to have a functional fire extinguisher readily available at all times as it is a very important tool to have to fight fires. If not kept in good working condition, it will most likely be useless when you need it most. Not only is proper fire extinguisher maintenance necessary to reduce the chances of tragedy, but it’s also useful to help keep you mind at peace knowing that you’ve done all you can to keep your family, property and yourself safe. To ensure that your fire extinguisher works in the event of a fire, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure your fire extinguisher is easily accessible.
  • Be sure it is set up properly so it’s easy to handle, with nothing in its way.
  • Check that your fire extinguisher is adequately charged and ready to use in case of fire. Frequently check the pressure dial to see if it needs to be charged.
  • Make sure that the pull pin is properly secured in the handle and held in place by the tamper seal.
  • Inspect the extinguisher for any cracks, dents, or rust on its shaft which may hinder its performance.
  • Make sure that there are visible, legible operating instructions.
  • Be certain that no modifications have been made that may affect its performance.

A properly functioning fire extinguisher can help reduce the disaster and tragedy a small fire can cause in a home, restaurant, or office building. Now that we are smack dab in the midst of summer, prepare for any instance that could arise. No one wants their summer fun spoiled by an accidental fire.

For more information about fire extinguishers, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

Accepting patients from Chino, Ontario, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Fontana and all surrounding areas.

Memorial Day Weekend Starts Summertime Fun | Corona, CA

Whether you decided to celebrate Memorial Day by packing up and going camping or keeping things simple with a BBQ at home with friends, this is the starting pistol for months of fun in the sun. Unfortunately, it is important to keep fire safety in mind while you are grilling those hot dogs and burgers. After all, safe fun is the best kind so make sure you keep these five fire safety tips in mind as bask in everything summertime has to offer:

Keep water close. Any time there is fire present, there is a chance that it can cause an accident. Keeping a bucket of water within reach will save a lot of time and damages in your bonfire or nearby debris happens to catch on fire.

Carefully choose your location. If you plan on having a BBQ or a firepit, make sure to inspect the surrounding areas for anything that could possible catch on fire. Embers have a tendency to fly away randomly, so choose a cleared location.

Clean your grill. Grease fires are some of the worst fires and BBQ grills tend to have lots of grease build-up collect in the crevices and grills. Make sure to keep your grills clean so nothing can catch fire.

Put out the flames. No one wants to see a good time come to an end but taking care of the area you enjoyed is important. Make sure to extinguish all sources of fire before going to bed or leaving the area. Prevention is key to fire safety so throw some water or sand on top of your fiery fun.

For more information about summertime fire safety, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

Accepting patients from Chino, Ontario, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Fontana and all surrounding areas.

How the Rain Is Affecting Our Fire Season | Corona, CA

(CNN):  It’s called an “atmospheric river” — basically a river in the sky — that could unleash catastrophic amounts of rain.

And the major storm is barreling right toward the fire-scarred regions of Southern California, with a potential to trigger flash flooding, mudslides and significant debris flow.

The heaviest rainfall is expected Wednesday evening through Thursday, and officials have already ordered mandatory evacuations in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

Up to 2 inches of rain have fallen in the burn scar areas since late Tuesday and the worst in Santa Barbara County is expected after dawn Thursday.

“That’s a concern when you put in the heaviest rainfall anywhere in the United States and put it right over Southern California, directly over burn scars,” CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri said.

“Some of the areas could see 6 inches of rainfall over 36 hours. That’s six to eight months of rainfall in 36 hours, right over what would be a significant Thomas Fire burn scar region,” he said.

The Thomas Fire, the largest fire in California’s modern history, ignited in December and burned about 281,900 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Santa Barbara County officials have issued a mandatory evacuation order affecting about 30,000 people in extreme and high-risk debris flow areas ahead of the strongest storm of the season in that region. The mandatory evacuation there was effective from noon Tuesday for burn areas near the Thomas, Sherpa and Whittier fires.

The amount of rain and the intensity are enough to cause flooding even without the impact of the recent fires.

“We could experience localized flooding and road closures, which are not isolated to the burn areas. The threat of rock falls, mudslides and debris flow is high,” said Rob Lewin, director of the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management.

Mandatory and voluntary evacuations also took effect at noon Tuesday in Ventura County.

Los Angeles County officials ordered evacuations in areas affected by the recent Creek and La Tuna Canyon fires starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, and warned other residents living in areas affected by recent fires to prepare for evacuations and street closures.

The large and powerful storm system across the eastern Pacific Ocean is expected to bring periods of moderate to heavy rain through late Thursday or early Friday.

Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow channels that transport water vapors outside the tropics. The one that’s saturating California is known as the Pineapple Express, because it brings moisture from the tropical Pacific near Hawaii and can wallop the West Coast with rain and snow.

The National Weather Service predicts rainfall rates between a half to three-quarters of an inch per hour, with rain totals of 5 to 10 inches in the foothills and mountains. This total is significantly more than during the January 9 debris flow, when there were 3 to 6 inches of rainfall across the region.

CNN’s Joe Sutton, Paul Vercammen, Monica Garrett and Madeline Scheinost contributed to this report.

For more information about fire season protection, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

Accepting patients from Chino, Ontario, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Fontana and all surrounding areas.