mastlogo275vThe San Bernardino County Fire Department and the Mountain Area Safety Taskforce are this week recognizing California Wildfire Awareness Week. In preparation for the approaching high fire hazard period, this year’s statewide Wildfire Awareness Week theme is “You Provide the Defense, We’ll Provide the Offense”—and, by defense, homeowners and renters alike are encouraged to create defensible space around their home. The City of Big Bear Lake has already implemented their curbside chipping program, so those within city limits are encouraged to call 752-2805 when ready for the free removal of dead vegetation from your property. Curbside chipping for properties in Fawnskin will be conducted by County Fire in June, and County Fire will join the Big Bear City Fire Department in curbside chipping by neighborhood for East Valley residents, starting with Baldwin Lake and Sugarloaf in June; homeowners will receive pickup specifics in the meantime, though it is not too soon to begin clearing defensible space. During Wildfire Awareness Week, families are also encouraged to develop a disaster plan, should there be cause for evacuation, either from the home or the community, due to fire. The Mountain Area Safety Taskforce has also created a handy, pocket-size “z card”, which you can keep in your purse or car; the z-card includes a mountain-area map, important phone numbers and a survival checklist. These are available at each of our local fire stations, or by calling County Fire at 386-8458 to have a free z-card mailed to you.