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California State of Emergency – Valley Fire Alone Destroyed 600+ Homes

17 Sep 2015, 11:58 am

CAL FireCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Lake and Napa counties due to the effects of the Valley Fire.

That fire alone has destroyed around 600 homes and hundreds of other structures and continues to threaten thousands of other structures in it’s path. Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant talks about the conditions under which firefighters are working to protect property and put these fires out and how pre-fire preparedness can help.

“There are a large number of homes that are built into forested land. This is were defensible space comes in so important. Having clearance around your home like many of these homes do, where you have all the dead grass and vegetation completely removed around your home, that’s what’s critical, so that when a giant fire comes towards your home, the hope is that it will just continue to burn all the way around it.”

In some ways, wildfire destruction can look like that from a tornado, devastating some homes, while leaving others nearby untouched and Daniel explains how that happens.

“A large fire is throwing embers a half a mile ahead of itself and those embers land and rain down on homes then the embers catch that home on fire and before crews can even get to that location the home is already on fire.”

If you live in a threatened area, he has some tips:

“You should already have an evacuation plan in place. You should know what you’re gonna take, have it already set aside; put it in your vehicle and turn your lights on! Leaving lights on will help firefighters be able to recognize your home through all the smoke and the haze.”

As with any disaster, preparedness can go a long way to keep you, your family and your property safer.

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For WeatherNation: John Van Pelt

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