Kern County Board Of Supervisors Proclamation for Wildfire Awareness Week

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Please join the Kern County Fire Department at the Kern County Board of Supervisors Meeting on Tuesday, May 3rd at 9:00am for the presentation proclaiming May 1-7 as Wildfire AwarenessWeek. Wildfire Awareness Week is an event intended to bring greater awareness to citizens of the severe consequences that can occur if and when a wildfire strikes. This campaign is designed to educate residents about the need to create defensible space around their homes and properties in preparation for the impending fire season, to be safe with sources of ignition, and what to do in the event of a wildfire. Wildfire awareness has been a joint effort between private citizens, businesses, federal, and Kern County agencies. Educational efforts have proven to be a highly effective means of
accomplishing voluntary compliance of individuals safeguarding their homes against fire. This year our education efforts will be focused on enhanced enforcement of the Wildland Fire UrbanInterface code, through our Hazard Reduction Program. Properly cutting and trimming grass, brush, and trees around structures gives firefighters an area of “defensible space” around a homeand gives them a place to make a stand against fast-moving wildfires.
By June 15th of every year, property owners must have completed their hazard reduction clearance around their home and buildings. On June 16th, if a property is not in compliance, the property owner will be issued a citation. If, in the next 30 days the proper hazard reduction is accomplished, the fine will be forgiven. Failure to comply can result in additional citations and a misdemeanor court citation. Our program was able to attain 98% property owner compliance last year, the highest rate of compliance ever. The goal of this program is not to generate revenue, but instead to encourage property owners to properly clean their properties. Homeowners who cleared their properties allowed firefighters to save homes in many of the past fire seasons, including the Shirley and Way Fires. And, in the face of this year’s extreme drought conditions, it is even more imperative that citizens are aware of how important hazard reduction efforts are.

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