MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Fires destroyed almost two million acres of land in California last year. The San Bernardino County Fire Department and the Combat Center’s Fire Department are constantly working to educate the local community and service members on how to prevent and safeguard against these fires when they do occur.
The county’s wildfire fire action plan, known as “Ready! Set! Go!,” contains information on fire prevention and preparation residential safety, family disaster plans to keep people safe throughout the year, said Tracey Martinez, the public information officer for the county’s fire department.
According to the program, it’s not a question of if, but when, the next wildfire will occur. Advance planning and preparation can dramatically increase the safety of residents and the survivability of their property.
“Our biggest point we push is clearing of defensible space around private residences,” Martinez said. “The space is a 100 foot clearance around homes of all stuff that could burn. It can save a lot of homes from wildfires.”
Martinez gave examples of other crucial steps families can take to stay safe.
“Having a plan is extremely important as well,” she said. “Evacuation plans at the home and fire alarm drills to get out safely can save people’s lives in fires.”
Safety procedures are also in effect here at the Combat Center due to proactive fire department efforts.
“We put out a lot of public education and training,” said Assistant Chief Darlene Hull, who is from South Lake Tahoe, Calif. “We also have fire extinguisher training through units, and also through their stand downs.”
Hull encourages service members and their families to also be proactive when it comes to fire safety.
Be responsible, plan ahead, follow the rules and most importantly, “be a good steward of the land you’re visiting,” he said.
For more information, visit http:// www.sbcfire.org, or call 830-5400 to contact the Combat Center’s fire prevention office. For emergencies dial 911.