Following an unexpected fire on the land surrounding our offices, it became apparent we all needed some extra knowledge when it comes to fire safety. Thanks to Firewise Training and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, we were blessed with the knowledge we needed. The daylong course was attended by nearly all of the Pinoleville staff as well as some of the Youth Group members.
While the nearby fire didn’t damage any of our buildings, our restoration nursery was damaged from the flames. Quite a few of our plants are currently in shock as we work to nurse them back to health. While the consequences weren’t nearly as dire as they could have been, it opened everyone’s eyes. Luckily the Firewise Training comes at the perfect time as wildfires continue throughout the area and neighboring counties.
To better familiarize ourselves with fire safety, we broke into two groups to inspect some homes within Pinoleville. Some of the things we searched for included: surrounding vegetation, fences, opened vents, outdoor furniture, concrete pavement, and roof construction. We were able to create constructive surveys for the inhabitants of those homes, noting changes that could help make their home safer. Our instructors pointed out crevices that ambers could become lodged within, overhead branches that needed to be trimmed and fences that needed to be treated so they would not pose a threat to the home.
When we returned to the classroom, we reviewed what we had learned. Noting the differences between homes that burn down during fires and those that survive. We learned different tips and tricks that could help prepare Pinoleville homeowners – by increasing our understanding of all the different fuels that surround our homes, and how to remove those fuels. We learned about creating a firewise home landscape and maintaining the landscape. All of these were valuable lessons as we got a first hand opportunity to learn more about wildfires, but also the best methods for prevention.
To learn more about Firewise and the training they offer, including homeowner and forestry professionals training, visit their website.