Living With Fire in Marin

Fire Extinguisher drills are part of being prepared | photo by Flo Hoylman | post by Larry Clinton

A series of free webinars offering tips and insights into dealing with local wildfires is now available on the Internet. The series, called Living With Fire, is produced by FIRESafe MARIN, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing wildland fire hazards and improving fire-safety awareness here in Marin. These wildfire preparedness education programs were developed by FIRESafe MARIN in conjunction with the Marin County Fire Chiefs Association, Marin County Fire Prevention Officers Association, Marin Master Gardeners (UCCE), and wildfire and home hardening experts. Living With Fire programs are being delivered in a 60-minute online format. The monthly webinars can be viewed live, with participant questions and answers. If you miss a live session, you can watch a video of the presentation through a link on the Living With Fire website.

Here are some valuable tips I picked up watching the first installment, on July 28, with Deputy Chief Mark Brown and Supervisor Katie Rice:

  • Fire season has increased to 75 days a year, as global warming keeps burned vegetation from recovering, and megafires are increasing. Therefore, red flag conditions are becoming more frequent.
  • Firefighters are not suppressing fires as well as before, and fires are spreading (filling footprints) faster than ever.
  • It is recommended that we prepare for smaller fires, which will help fight larger fires. We need to be in ready mode for seasonal conditions.
  • Most fires in Marin are started by people, since lightning is rare here.
  • Fires generally burn uphill, so that’s a bad direction to evacuate.

Here’s a schedule of upcoming Webinars through the end of the year, all starting at 6:00 PM:

Tuesday August 25 Community Organizing for Fire Preparedness & Incorporation of Ecologically Sound Practices

Tuesday September 29 Evacuation & Warnings—How To Survive a Wildfire

Tuesday October 27 Wildfire 101: How Wildfires Burn in the wilderness/urban interface (WUI)

Tuesday November 17 Home Hardening

Tuesday December 15 Vegetation Management Practices in Marin’s Open Space

Additional tips and helpful links are being posted on the Floating Homes Association Website.