Tag Archives: wildfire preparedness kit

These California Communities Face the Highest Fire Risk | Corona, CA

From pricey gated neighborhoods to rural logging towns.

By Soumya Karlamangla \ Sept. 29, 2021

More than the videos of flying embers and glowing red skies, the images that still haunt me from the 2018 Camp fire are of cars lined up along exit routes, as people desperate to escape discovered they were trapped.

The fire destroyed the town of Paradise and killed 85 people, becoming the deadliest fire in California history. It’s a tragedy that raises an important question as California’s fire season appears to worsen each year: Can we predict the next Paradise?

There are a few ways to think about this, from looking at a region’s risk of megafires to its number of evacuation routes.

California officials rank an area’s wildfire risk — based on its vegetation, fire history and topography — as either moderate, high or very high. More than 2.7 million Californians live in parts of the state deemed very high risk, painted in bright red on the state’s wildfire danger map.

“These designations have proven eerily predictive about some of the state’s most destructive wildfires in recent years,” reads a 2019 analysis put together by several California newsrooms, pointing out that “nearly all of Paradise is colored in bright red.”

California is home to more than 75 communities, including Paradise, where at least 90 percent of residents live in these very high-risk swaths, the analysis found. The extremely fire-prone towns include:

  • Rancho Palos Verdes, Calabasas, La Cañada Flintridge, Palos Verdes Estates and Malibu in Los Angeles County
  • South Lake Tahoe and Pollock Pines in El Dorado County (both were evacuated in recent weeks)
  • Lake Arrowhead in San Bernardino County
  • Kensington in Contra Costa County

But there’s more to the story. This list covers places where a fire is most likely to break out, but it doesn’t reflect what happens once one does.

There were six exit routes in Paradise, but the fast-moving fire closed some and mass evacuations created traffic jams on the roads that were usable.

(It’s important to note that while traffic slowed evacuations in Paradise, fewer than 10 people who died were in their cars apparently trying to flee, according to an investigation by the Butte County district attorney. Most of those killed were older people in their homes.)

Across California, approximately 350,000 people live in fire zones that have no more evacuation routes per person than Paradise, according to the 2019 analysis. The places with relatively few exit routes include:

  • Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Pacific Palisades and Rancho Palos Verdes in Los Angeles County
  • Newbury Park, Oak Park and Moorpark in Ventura County
  • Carmel Valley and Jamesburg in Monterey County
  • Jamul, Ramona and Scripps Ranch in San Diego County
  • Big Bear, Minnelusa and Sugarloaf in San Bernardino County

Still, there are some important caveats here.

Just because there are exit routes doesn’t mean people will actually use all of them. In an emergency, many people are likely to opt for roads they know best, which could lead to traffic jams on the more popular ways out of town.

So, this summer, StreetLight Data, an analytics company in San Francisco, did a slightly different analysis.

Its researchers tallied exit routes in each community and measured their typical traffic loads using GPS data from cellphones. That allowed them to predict which routes people would be most likely to take during an evacuation.

StreetLight identified 15 places in California with more constrained evacuation routes than Paradise, ranging from some of the state’s most expensive gated neighborhoods to remote logging towns.

“It really cuts across income levels and terrain,” Martin Morzynski, the company’s vice president for marketing, told me. “When it’s smoky, things are hectic, what have you, people tend to take the road they know.”

The five places with the most limited evacuation routes were:

  • Bell Canyon in Ventura County
  • Brooktrails in Mendocino County
  • Lake California in Tehama County
  • North Shore in Riverside County
  • Coto De Caza in Orange County

Three major blazes have whipped through Bell Canyon, a hilly gated community home to about 2,000 residents, since Tim Brehm moved there in 1980.

Brehm, a retired high school teacher, prepares his home each year by clearing brush and maintaining hundreds of feet of defensible space around his home.

He knows there are two exit routes out of Bell Canyon but has never used either. He has always stayed behind to defend his property, though he acknowledged that fires appear to be growing more belligerent.

“I always have a viable escape plan: Keep my keys in my pocket and my truck is right there,” Brehm told me. “If everything goes south, then I’ll just get in my truck and go.”

How to prepare for wildfires:

  • Pack your go bag.
  • Ready your home.
  • Track wildfires near you.

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.

What to Know About the Dixie Fire | Corona, CA

Tuesday: Although it rained on Monday, fire season is well underway. And the state’s biggest blaze is burning near areas scarred from the Camp Fire.

By Jill Cowan | July 27, 2021

Good morning.

There may have been rare July showers in parts of California on Monday. But make no mistake: The drought is still a threat. And fire season is underway.

The Dixie Fire, California’s largest wildfire this year, continued to burn through thousands of acres of rough terrain, prompting evacuation orders and threatening communities in a region scarred by the memory of the 2018 Camp Fire, the deadliest in the state’s history.

More than 5,400 firefighters were battling the Dixie Fire, which merged over the weekend with another nearby blaze, the Fly Fire, and had burned through about 200,000 acres, according to Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency.

That’s an area a little larger than New York City, and about half of the acreage burned by the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, the nation’s largest this year. But the Bootleg Fire is burning in a more remote area; 300 people live within five miles of that blaze, according to The New York Times’s wildfire tracker, compared with 4,900 within five miles of the Dixie Fire.

The Dixie Fire started more than a week ago, just a couple of miles from the spot where the Camp Fire ignited, said Rick Carhart, a spokesman for Cal Fire in Butte County. That fire killed more than 80 people and all but leveled the remote town of Paradise.

“There really is so much — there’s no other word for it — PTSD,” Mr. Carhart said. “There’s so much anxiety.”

A stream of firefighting helicopters taking off from a nearby airport in recent days has flown over Magalia, a community that was also devastated by the Camp Fire. Residents there are out of the path of this year’s flames, Mr. Carhart said — but are still afraid.

“They see a helicopter with a bucket attached,” he said. “And it’s, ‘Oh my God, here we go again.’”

The two blazes also bear another chilling similarity: Pacific Gas & Electric, the state’s largest utility, said last week that blown fuses on one of its utility poles may have sparked the Dixie Fire. PG&E pleaded guilty last year to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for its role in starting the Camp Fire.

Mr. Carhart said that crews have been making progress in controlling the Dixie Fire, and the weather has been more cooperative in recent days than fire officials had predicted. Nevertheless, the size and timing of the blaze — which he said is already the 15th-largest in California’s recorded history — point to a future in which fires won’t be limited to a single season.

“One of the most concerning things about it is how early in the year it is,” Mr. Carhart.

Last year’s record-breaking wildfire season, during which millions of acres burned across California and the West, actually had a below-average start, he said, until widespread lightning strikes ignited tinder-dry vegetation in many remote areas.

Right now, Mr. Carhart said, the thousands of firefighters who are cutting fire lines, dousing hot spots or doing any of the other time-consuming, physically demanding work required of them, are looking at months before there’s likely to be rain, which heralds an end to the most intense fire activity.

In the past, he said, he might have expected a blaze like the Dixie Fire sometime in September — not July.

“We’re all kind of learning that fire season isn’t a three-month or six-month thing anymore,” he said.

For more information about home hardening tips, 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.

Wildfire Season Is Here: Hardening Your House | Corona, CA

With the warmer days, comes the danger of wildfires here in California. It’s a bittersweet kind of season – fantastic for summer fun in the sun, but always a looming stress about the wildfires that ravage our homes every year. Because your home is susceptible to flyaway embers from fires close by, here are a few ways you can prepare your home, in case wildfire strikes:

Roof. The most vulnerable part of your home, roofs with wood or shingle roofs are at high risk of being destroyed during a wildfire. Use materials such as composition, metal, clay or tile. Block any spaces between roof decking and clear rain gutters to prevent embers from catching and remove accumulated vegetative debris from the roof.

Windows. Install dual-paned windows with one pane of tempered glass to reduce the chance of breakage in a fire and install screens in all usable windows to increase ember resistance and decrease radiant heat exposure.

Walls. Wood products, such as boards, panels or shingles, are flammable and not good choices for fire-prone areas. Instead, use stucco, fiber cement wall siding, fire retardant, treated wood, or other approved materials.

Chimney. Cover your chimney and stovepipe outlets with a non-flammable screen. When not in use, close the fireplace flue.

Garage. Have a fire extinguisher and tools such as a shovel, rake, bucket, and hose available for fire emergencies. Also, install weather stripping to prevent flying embers from blowing in.

Fences. Best practice is to separate your fence from your house or upgrade the last 5-feet of the fence to a noncombustible material to reduce the chance of the fence from bringing fire to your home.

For more information about home hardening tips, 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.

Brush Fire near Corona Airport Explodes to 750 Acres, Shuts Down Highway 71 in Both Directions | Corona, CA

By Rob McMillan and ABC7.com staff

Friday, December 4, 2020

CORONA, Calif. (KABC) — A fire that erupted near the Corona Municipal Airport has grown to 750 acres, shutting down a main road in the area, authorities said Thursday morning.

The blaze, dubbed the Airport Fire, started Tuesday night and exploded in size by Thursday as strong winds continued to whip across Southern California, leading to other fires across the region. As of 4:40 p.m. Thursday, the fire was 10% contained.

Early Thursday morning, the flames prompted the closure of State Route 71 in both directions between the 91 Freeway and Highway 83, according to CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department. Residents of the Sonora Ranch neighborhood, which is approximately less than two miles away from the blaze, have been keeping a close eye on the flames since it started earlier this week. Some say their concerns grew when the winds kicked up overnight.

“When the winds started kicking up last night and sounded like waves crashing up against the house, that was the concern for us,” said Tahisha Cattouse. “I was still able to sleep but then this morning my husband goes ‘the fire is still here and it jumped the freeway’.”

An evacuation warning had been issued for several streets (Big Springs Court., Rock Ridge Court, Cheyenne Road, Homestead Road, Holster Street and Lone Tree Street). But by 10 p.m. Wednesday the warnings were lifted.

The fire was first reported Tuesday night behind the airport at the Prado Basin at less than five acres. But red flag conditions – Santa Ana winds and low humidity – kept it going and spreading to at least 25 acres by early afternoon Wednesday, then 50 acres later in the day. No damage to structure or injuries have been reported.

For more information about fire updates, 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

California Wildfires Still Growing but Some Residents Are Allowed to Return Home | Corona, CA

By Madeline Holcombe and Cheri Mossburg, CNN Updated 6:46 PM ET, Tue October 27, 2020

(CNN)Two out-of-control wildfires in Southern California grew Tuesday, but while officials issued some new evacuation orders, they also told many residents from Irvine they could go home.

The Silverado Fire near Irvine has charred 12,600 acres and is 5% contained. Just north of that, the Blue Ridge Fire near Yorba Linda has ballooned in size, more than doubling its footprint, currently calculated at 15,200 acres. The fire, which is 0% contained, has damaged 10 homes.

More than 80,000 people have been told to stay away from their homes, including some NFL football players for the Los Angeles Chargers. That number is down by about 20,000, as many residents who fled Irvine have been told the area is safe now.

Southern California Edison said a power line may have played a role in igniting the Silverado Fire, according to a report filed with California Public Utilities Commission. The initial safety incident report describes overhead electrical facilities in the area where authorities think the fire started but notes no activity on the circuit.

“…(It) appears that a lashing wire attached to a telecommunications line may have contacted SCE’s power line above it, possibly starting the fire,” SCE spokesman Chris Abel told CNN.

Between the fires roaring in Southern California and dry, windy conditions prompting red flag warnings in Northern California, power companies have enacted Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). Nearly 130,000 customers in California were without power Tuesday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.US. The bulk of the customers are managed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for Northern California and Southern California Edison.

Fire officials said 1,800 people are battling the two fires, and on Monday two of them were critically injured. The men suffered second- and third-degree burns while battling the Silverado Fire near Irvine, Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy told reporters.

Fennessy said Tuesday they were “fighting for their lives.” “I know them personally. They are strong. Having gotten to know their parents over the past 24 hours, I can see where they got their strength, Fennessy said. “It’s tough to feel this helpless.”

The men, ages 26 and 31, are part of Orange County Fire Authority’s ground crew. Their names haven’t been released. The team uses hand tools to stop wildfire flames from progressing, much like hotshots. Three other firefighters had minor injuries, were treated at the hospital, and released.

As Ed Pascasio fled from the Silverado Fire on Monday afternoon with his wife, niece and sister-in-law, he watched embers flying toward their neighborhood.

“The sky was orange, kind of like doomsday,” he said. “I’ve never seen it change dramatically that fast.”

The cars packed on main roads — filled with fleeing residents — resembled a movie scene, Pascasio said.

“A lot of neighbors were leaving at the same time. Everyone was shocked by the speed of it all,” he said.

This has been a devastating year for fires. At least 8,000 fire incidents reported by Cal Fire have burned a record 4 million acres and claimed the lives of 31 people this year so far. And dry, windy conditions have prompted power shutoffs to prevent more.

CNN’s Sarah Moon, Amir Vera, Joe Sutton, Eric Levenson, Stella Chan and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

For more information about 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

The Land of Never-Ending Heatwaves | Corona, CA

It feels like summer will never end, doesn’t it? And as the days tick by, it feels like the earth is getting drier and drier, just waiting for a spark to ignite it. Like a baby gender reveal – send an email if it’s that important for you to share, folks. Yes, living in California is a scary time during days like these. But this doesn’t mean we need to be unprepared. Because these wildfires are commonly started by human error, they can quickly ignite and burn through tinder, spreading to nearby homes as well.

If you live in or near a fire-prone area, there are various ways that you can help reduce the chance for severe damage to your home and property by keeping wildfire safety in mind and selecting materials that can help contain a fire rather than fuel it.

When designing your home, use fire-resistant or noncombustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling. Make sure to treat any materials with fire-retardant chemicals evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory. Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees and avoid more flammable pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.

When safety is concerned, regularly clean your roof and gutters to remove any debris, install a smoke detector on every floor in your home and ensure that you have at least a 100-foot radius of cleared vegetation around your home.

If evacuation is necessary, follow the instructions of local officials, shut all windows and doors and bring your disaster preparedness kit. The main thing to focus on is ensuring that you and your family are safe and sound if a wildfire does happen close to you.

For more information about wildfire protection tips, 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.

Canyon Fire Burn Area Winter Preparedness | Corona, CA

When rainfall events are predicted, stay alert, and monitor information sources. Those living in this area should follow city information and think about what to do should they be asked to leave their homes.

Based off predicted rainfall amounts and the duration of time in which it will occur, the National Weather Service (NWS) may issue a Flash Flood Warning. Flash Flood Warnings will be given via television, radio and wireless emergency alerts if your device is compatible. In the event a Flash Flood Warning is issued for the Canyon Fire burn area, evacuation orders may be given. If you are told to evacuate, please adhere to these orders, as they are given to ensure your safety.

The City of Corona has a local notification system that will send telephone notifications to resident and business during an emergency. Only landlines are in the system. Register your cell phone number and select if you would like to receive an additional notification by email and/or text. Visit www.CoronaCA.gov/ENS to register!

Remember when rainfall events are predicted regardless how large or small, stay vigilant as weather can change quickly.

In preparation for upcoming storms, up to ten free pre-filled sandbags are available for Corona residents at Santana Park. There are also sandbags at Fire Station #5 at Canyon Crest for residents of the Canyon Fire burn area.

  • Santana Park: 598 Santana Way
  • Fire Station #5: 1200 Canyon Crest Drive

It is important to remember areas within and downslope of the Canyon Fire burned areas have an increased risk of erosion, flash flooding and debris flows. Remember when rainfall events are predicted regardless how large or small, stay vigilant as weather can change quickly.

For more information about our services, 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.

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.

Prepare for Those Wildfires | Corona, CA

As the days begin to heat up, we need to take a moment to make sure we are prepared for the inevitable – wildfires. Wildfires are frightening because they can spread rapidly, with little-to-no warning. Commonly started by human error, they can quickly ignite and burn through tinder, spreading to nearby homes as well.

If you live in or near a fire-prone area there are various ways that you can help reduce the chance for severe damage to your home and property by keeping wildfire safety in mind and selecting materials that can help contain a fire rather than fuel it.

When designing your home, use fire-resistant or noncombustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling. Make sure to treat any materials with fire-retardant chemicals evaluated by a nationally-recognized laboratory. Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees and avoid more flammable pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.

When safety is concerned, regularly clean your roof and gutters to remove any debris, install a smoke detector on every floor in your home and ensure that you have at least a 100-foot radius of cleared vegetation around your home.

If evacuation is necessary, follow the instructions of local officials, shut all windows and doors and bring your disaster preparedness kit. The best way to be safe is to be ready so make sure you and your family is prepared for any type of disaster that may occur during these drier months. For more information about a disaster preparedness kit, contact your local fire station.

If you would like to learn more about wildfire protection, contact CJ Suppression Inc. at 888-821-2334 or visit www.cjsuppression.com for additional information.

CJ Suppression Inc. proudly serves Corona, San Bernardino, Yorba Linda, Anaheim, Victorville, Irvine and all surrounding areas.