Tag: Defensible Space

BBFD Curbside Chipping Program is a Great Success

Big Bear, CA, October 23, 2015 – The Big Bear Fire Department would like thank the entire Big Bear Valley for their efforts keeping our community healthy by creating defensible space utilizing the Curbside Chipping Program which has now officially ended for the season. 1,215 community members participated in the program and more than 387 tons of flammable vegetation was chipped and diverted from landfill. Funding for the Chipping program is provided through Big Bear Fire Department, CAL FIRE, and a grant from the U.S. Forest Service through the California Fire Safe...

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Replace the Shake: New Funds Available To Bring Roofs Into Compliance

Big Bear Lake, CA, September 26, 2014 – We hear a lot about maintaining “defensible space” around our mountain homes for fire protection–and rightly so–but it’s only part of the picture. Besides the presence of burnable vegetation immediately adjacent to buildings, the ignitability of a home also depends on its roofing materials. In one study, the Stanford Research Institute found that 95 percent of homes with both nonflammable roofs and adequate vegetation clearance survived a wildfire. In 2008, the City of Big Bear Lake declared that any structure with a wood shake or shingle roof would be considered a public nuisance. Replacing wooden roofs is expensive, but federal and state grants helped local property owners reduce the number of dangerous buildings from 525 to just 73 by last year. Earlier this year, the California Office of Emergency Services notified City officials that an additional $150,000 would be available to help the remaining property owners take this important safety measure. On September 22, the Big Bear Lake City Council and the Fire Protection District worked out the details: All eligible property owners will be contacted by phone then mailed a certified letter containing a new grant application that states the offer and limitations; The homeowners will then have four weeks to apply for the grant funds; and The funds will be equally distributed to the eligible applicants who apply Any questions...

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Firefighters Focus on Prevention

Big Bear City, CA, June 4, 2014 – The San Bernardino County Fire Department’s Residential Assessment Program is back for a second year. In the coming weeks, firefighters will be going door-to-door handing out information and offering to walk the properties with homeowners on the spot and provide free evaluations of defensible space. They’ll focus on neighborhoods in the unincorporated parts of the Valley, outside City of Big Bear Lake and CSD service areas. Defensible space is the term for a critical buffer zone around a home where combustible materials have been removed or trimmed to minimize the chance of a wildfire being carried to the building. Ideally, it extends outward from a residence 100 feet, or to the property line, whichever is less. Homeowners are urged to clear all dead vegetation from this space and around any propane tanks, cut tree limbs from the bottom six feet of a trunk and from over roofs, and keep wood piles and combustible patio furniture at least 30 feet from homes. If you don’t want to wait for the knock on the door, you can also schedule a no-charge assessment by calling (909)...

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Fire Department Reminds Residents to Take Precautions Now

San Bernardino National Forest, CA, August 16, 2013 — By early April, California was already showing signs of having one of the most active fire seasons in history. In our county in particular, low moisture, plentiful fuels, and the forthcoming Santa Ana winds pose a triple threat. Are you prepared? The San Bernardino National Forest regularly experiences single-digit humidity levels, but with rainfall totals ranging from 5-25% of average in the region, 2013 looks to be one of the driest years in recent memory.  So the San Bernardino County Fire Department urges you to take the following precautions: * Create defensible space around your home. Defensible space is an area that extends 100 feet from the structure or to the property line. Initial steps to creating this space begin with clearing all dead or dying vegetation from the ground, roofs, underneath decks and around propane tanks. Cleaning out rain gutters and moving wood piles at least thirty feet from structures are also included in this space creation. This is also a time to ensure that your address is clearly visible from the street, so firefighters can easily identify your residence. * Create a family disaster plan that includes meeting locations and communication plans. Remember that during a natural disaster, cell towers may be overburdened with traffic; text messages are more likely to be successful than phone calls. Have several...

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Defensible space: Chipping ends, clean-up still encouraged

Big Bear City, CA, April 26, 2013 – Since the Curbside Vegetation Chipping Program debuted in 2005 to help create defensible space on private property, several thousand tons of vegetation have been collected each year. The service had been free to Bear Valley residents, but the program is over now that funding has run out. There is still work to be done, however, so residents and property owners are still highly encouraged to continue efforts in creating and maintaining defensible space.  As Big Bear City Fire Chief Jeff Willis says, “It is vital to the fire fighting tactics and keeping our community safe”. While creating defensible space, the primary goal is to remove overgrown, dense brush, small trees, limbs, and dead material.  As we head into spring and summer months, the Fire Department also encourages clearing property of  weeds and pine needles. For more information on creating defensible space, visit www.thinisin.org.  Or call the Big Bear Lake Fire Department at (909)...

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