By Mary Lynch
The more we learn about modern-day wildfires, the scarier they become. Recent history suggests that wildfires can occur anytime, not only in the typical wildfire season of mid-summer to early autumn.
Human error and negligence are a cause, as is climate change. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection recently confirmed that power lines owned by Pacific Gas and Electric caused the Camp fire in Northern California last year that destroyed nearly 14,000 homes and killed 85 people.
Northeast Los Angeles is at high risk: The Boulevard Sentinel recently reported on data showing that nearly half of the buildings in Eagle Rock are in a very severe hazard zone; in Highland Park, 40% of the buildings are in a very serve hazard zone. In Mount Washington, all of the buildings are in a very severe hazard zone.
The antidote for fear is being prepared.
The Los Angeles Fire Department has produced an informative, well-designed booklet on what you need to do to survive a wildfire. The advice also covers other disasters that may strike, from earthquakes to house fires to active shooter situations and other forms of terrorism. The advice is broken into four steps: 1. Get informed. 2. Have a plan. 3. Get involved. 4. Resources to draw on.
You can download the booklet at cert-la.com/EmergPrepBooklet.pdf or ask at your local fire station about getting one.
Get the booklet, read it, take the steps. Sleep better.