September 2010 home page

  All Fired Up!
Carol Kerridge | El Amigo Road

Photo courtesy Microsoft Corporation

Don’t just bite your nails or worry about the many “what ifs.” Fire season is approaching our region again, and now is the time to be attentive. Given the major scare of the firestorm in our region in the fall of ’07, I’m sure that I’m not alone when I feel apprehensive whenever the hot, erratic Santa Ana winds start to blow.

Following that major event, we all resolved to clean our gutters, trim our trees, clear out the brush in our canyons and be much more vigilant in reducing the risks of fire in our homes, yards, neighborhoods and many canyons.

Our City government has also been hard at work fulfilling actions that were decided upon soon after that firestorm. In July ‘08, our City Council adopted the updated Wildland-Urban Interface Code. This updated code gives many more specific recommendations for reducing risk in neighborhoods, yards and nearby canyons. The City Council has also modified the Fire Code to require all existing shake-shingle roofs be replaced by July 2013, and all new homes be protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system.

Soon after the devastating fires in Oct ’07, Cal-Fire (the new title for California Department of Forestry) evaluated all cities in California for degree of fire risk, accessibility, topography, vegetation, etc. They mandated that each City enforce the “100 ft. defensible space” guideline for homes that border canyons and are in the Wildland-Urban Interface area. In Del Mar, they identified 349 homes that are at greatest risk within 400 ft. of the west side of Crest Canyon and asked each of these home owners to undergo an exterior fire inspection. The residents were compliant and the fire inspections were very successful, but has that momentum been maintained over the past three years?

On August 2nd, our City Council decided to hire a private company to do weed and brush abatement inspections on private property which in the past has been done by our fire department. There will be a second reading of this ordinance at the City Council meeting on September 13th. Further details or questions of the particulars will be addressed at that meeting. Your input is IMPORTANT.

Another program sanctioned by the City of Del Mar and our Fire Department, “Are You Ready, Del Mar?” is sponsored by the Del Mar Community Connections which teaches disaster preparedness for residents and their neighbors, with a focus on including the elderly. Please consider hosting a neighborhood meeting if you haven’t already; 44 Del Mar neighborhoods have already worked together to make their residents better prepared for disasters. Call Carol Kerridge 755-7821 for more info.

We all tend to become complacent in our comfortable, busy lives…but the time to act is now, before we are plagued with Santa Ana winds, very dry foliage and overgrowth, with little or no time to spare before another firestorm shifts our way.



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