HomeCommunity NewsSMFD Addresses Fire Season, Summer Safety

SMFD Addresses Fire Season, Summer Safety

The San Marino Fire Department will address two crucial subjects in the upcoming weeks.

On Monday, May 23, the SMFD will be hosting a Summer First Aid and Safety Preparedness course for San Marino residents at the fore station beginning at 6 p.m.

All ages are invited to attend to learn valuable skills to keep safe during the summer months and beyond. Topics will include first-aid skills such as CPR, active bleeding, use of tourniquets, and choking; use of fire extinguishers; and pool and water safety. Registration to fire@cityofsanmarino.org is encouraged but is not required.

Additionally, the SMFD has mailed out notices of upcoming hazardous vegetation inspections to the residents living in the city’s Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.

“If you receive this letter, it is because your home is located in the City’s Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone,” said San Marino Fire Chief Mario Rueda.

The Fire Department will begin to inspect individual properties on June 13 to ensure compliance.

“In 2018, the San Marino City Council approved the creation of an annual wildland fuel management program in order to ensure that our residents enjoy the highest level of safety,” said Rueda. “With fire season already upon us, the San Marino Fire Department wants to remind its residents to clear brush and overgrown vegetation from their property to improve the margin of safety in the event of a fire.”

Rueda also said that 8 of the 10 deadliest wildfires in California’s history have burned in the last five years, causing devastation to homes and lives around the state. Unprecedented drought, natural disasters and human error have all contributed to the increasing danger.

“San Marino property owners that create defensible space around their homes give the firefighters a fighting chance to save our residents’ homes in the event of a nearby vegetation fire,” Rueda added. “If your home is outside of the City’s Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, it is a good time to be responsible and clear dry and dead vegetation, hazardous refuse, and combustibles away from your home, garage and combustible fencing.”

Vegetation should also be cleared away from roofs and chimneys.

“Vegetation interface areas are always a challenge in terms of fire safety,” Rueda said. “In addition to obvious brushy hillsides, there are multiple types of fire hazards that exist in addition to the ornamental vegetation. Additional hazards include limited access for fire department apparatus, steep terrain and hillside homes. All property owners should clean leaves and other debris from roof gutters, prune trees properly and keep property free of accumulated combustibles such as dried vegetation.”

Successful prevention of vegetation fires requires “a partnership between the community and the fire department,” he added.

“Time and time again, homes are spared only because fire spread is limited due to adequate clearance facilitated by diligent homeowners,” he continued. “Fire intensity will greatly decrease upon reaching an area of less fuel. Maintaining the required clearance distances is proven to save property and will aide firefighters in defending your home.”

Rueda encouraged residents to refer to the SMFD’s vegetation codes and safety ordinances for specifics on required clearances of hazardous vegetation from structures on the city’s website at cityofsanmarino.org/brushclearance.

He said that residents who have additional questions concerning brush clearance requirements or would like to request an inspection should contact the San Marino Fire Department at (626) 300-0735.

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