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reparedness Facts of the Week
by Elizabeth Hall, Emergency Services Specialist - Kings County Office of Emergency Management
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Part 12 of a 12 part emergency preparedness series
Threats & Hazards in CA - Wildfires
Printable Article (PDF) | Download PDF Reader


Depending upon terrain and vegetation, wildfire hazard risk exposure is generally pervasive, with high concentrations in southern California. Since 1950, 56 percent of Presidential declared disasters in California were the result of wildfires.
  • Over the past 57 years, wildfires have claimed 97 lives and resulted in 1,504 injuries and $2.1 billion in California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) administered disaster costs.
  • Approximately 37 million acres within California are at risk from wildfire, with 17 million acres at high risk. A total of 7.8 million acres of California are developed with housing unit densities considered to meet the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) criteria and a total of 11.8 million homes are located in the WUI.
  Defensible Space: You Can Do It...

Firesafe Council Tips

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE)
"Why 100 Feet" pdf download

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE)
"Defensible Space" pdf download

  The following are general guidelines:
  • Remove all flammable vegetation around all structures. State law requires a minimum of 100 feet of clearance, but check with your insurance agent to see if your carrier requires more. For more information about state law, contact your local fire department.
  • Trim trees so branches are six feet from the ground and 10 feet from your chimney. Remove branches overhanging your roof.
  • Call your utility company for help with trees near power lines. Never trim these yourself.
  • Remove any dead trees.
  • Cut weeds and dead grasses six inches or shorter.
  • Always work early in the morning and make sure your power tools have spark arresters to prevent equipment-caused fires.
  • Ask your local nursery about landscaping with beautiful, fire-resistant plants
  • Maintain defensible space by cleaning up plant litter and watering properly.
Wild Fire Safety Checklist
(American Red Cross)

More and more people are making their homes in woodland settings, rural areas or remote mountain sites. There, residents enjoy the beauty of the environment but face the very real danger of wild fires. Wild fires often begin unnoticed. They spread quickly, igniting brush, trees and homes. In a wild fire, every second counts!


Additonal Resources

California Emergency Management Agency
(Cal EMA)
" Protecting From Fires-Hazard Mitigation Section"

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
"Wildfire Prevention and Preparedness"

American Red Cross (ARC)
"Wildfire Preparedness Fast Facts"

United States Fire Administration (USFA)
"Fire Safety for People with Disabilities"

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE)
"Animal Evacuation"

All information in this article is from
CalEMA’s Planning
and Preparedness Division,
Threats & Hazards:


Additonal Resources
California Emergency
Managment Agency

Wild Fire Safety Checklist (American Red Cross)
  • Water-one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply)
  • Food-non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s)of the area
  • Other essential items that could not be replaced if they were destroyed


For more quick links, related websites
and additional resources
go to
California Emergency Managment Agency

Do your part for safety awareness by passing this information along to anyone you can think of who would benefit.

Have a great week, and remember…… Be Responsible - Be Ready - Be Prepared!

Teaming Up for Emergency Preparedness
Elizabeth Hall

Office of Emergency Management

280 Campus Drive Hanford, CA 93230
(559) 582-3211, Ext. 2634


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