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Placer County Supervisor's column

Fire prevention needed now

By: Placer County Supervisor Robert Weygandt
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Fire prevention and safety are always a top priority, especially during these dry summer months.

But this year, it’s more important than ever. The golden brown grasslands around Lincoln are overabundant with record-breaking amounts of fire fuel, creating an extremely high fire danger.
While our fire agencies are prepared for increased fire activity, our fire officials strongly recommend residents to prepare by creating defensible space around their home and to have evacuation plans in place in the event of a fire.
Your home is surrounded by two defensible space zones. Zone number one includes the first 30 feet around your home and zone two is between 30 and 100 feet.
Zone one around your home should be kept “lean and green.” Clear out any dead vegetation, even under healthy plants and bushes such as rosemary. Low-hanging tree limbs should be trimmed up and away from vegetation, structures and other trees.
Be sure to relocate wood piles into zone two.
I can appreciate well-manicured landscapes with neatly-trimmed green grass, free of weeds and dried-out plants and bushes. While mowing green grass with metal blades is perfectly safe, using metal blades to cut dead grass and weeds could spark a smoldering fire that can quickly grow out of control. Using power hedgers with plastic trimmer line is a great alternative for cutting down those pesky weeds.
Fireworks are another concern during these summer months. All fireworks, including the “safe and sane” kind, are banned in the unincorporated areas of Placer County. Illegal firework activity should be reported to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office at 530-886-5375.
While we can all work together to prevent fires, fires sometimes happen so it’s a good idea to have an evacuation plan in place. Fire officials recommend having two planned evacuation routes to get out of your home as well as two evacuation routes out of your community.
I also encourage you to sign up for the county’s Placer Alert emergency notification system to receive alerts during future wildfires, severe winter storms and other emergencies that affect you and our community.
You can receive alerts through your mobile phone, email, text messages and landline telephone by simply logging on to PlacerAlert.org.
More people move to Placer County every day so we can all lend a hand by reaching out to new neighbors to make sure they’re aware of fire danger in the area and how they can help reduce it. Make sure to let them know about Placer Alert while you’re at it!
And to close with a little good news, I’d also like to mention that Placer County Fire Department’s recent service improvements are paying off with a reduced risk rating for areas served by the department, including the unincorporated areas outside of Lincoln.
Placer County Fire Department received a rating of 4 out of 10 from the Insurance Service Office, up from a 6 a few years ago, with 10 being the worst. They expect that may further improve to a 3 soon, too.
The reduced risk rating could translate into reduced fire-insurance premiums for homeowners in Placer Fire’s service area, although it’s not guaranteed. If you’re served by Placer County Fire, you’re encouraged to contact your insurance provider with questions about how the new rating might affect your premiums.
 

Robert Weygandt is the Placer County supervisor for District 2, which covers Lincoln, Sheridan and the western portions of Rocklin and Roseville. To contact Weygandt, call 530-889-4010 or email tivaldi@placer.ca.gov or slandon@placer.ca.gov.