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City of Santa Clarita Press Release

Preparing for a Fire Safe Summer

By City Manager Ken Striplin

There’s nothing quite like the sight of the Santa Clarita Valley during the spring season. Flowers, brush and native vegetation come to life on our hillsides, creating a blanket of green surrounding our City. As we transition into the summer months, the once-green vegetation begins to dry out, creating the perfect scenario for a devastating wildfire. The combination of dry brush and hot temperatures pose a significant risk to our community’s safety and requires everyone to have heightened awareness and preparedness.

Addressing the increased threat of wildfires requires a collective effort. As residents, we must take proactive steps to prevent ignition sources and minimize fire hazards. The Los Angeles County Fire Department stands ready to assist the community with their invaluable resources and guidance. The Ready! Set! Go! personal wildfire action plan empowers us to assess our wildfire risk, prepare our homes and families and stay informed about wildfire activity in our area.

The “Ready” phase emphasizes the importance of establishing and maintaining a defensible space around homes, which is essential to wildfire prevention. This involves creating a buffer zone by removing flammable vegetation and debris from the immediate vicinity of structures. By implementing fire-resistant landscaping practices and maintaining adequate spacing between trees and shrubs, residents can significantly reduce the risk of fire spreading to their homes.

In addition to creating defensible space, residents should take steps to fortify their homes. This may include installing ember-resistant vents, using fire-retardant building materials and enclosing eaves to prevent ember intrusion. By fortifying their homes, residents can increase the likelihood of their properties surviving a wildfire and minimize the need for firefighters to risk their lives defending vulnerable structures.

The “Set” phase highlights evacuation preparedness as another critical aspect of wildfire readiness and requires careful planning and organization. Families should develop a comprehensive evacuation plan that outlines escape routes, designated meeting points and communication strategies. It’s essential to involve all household members in the planning process and practice evacuation drills regularly to ensure everyone knows what to do in an emergency.

Assembling an emergency supply kit is another essential step in the “Set” phase. This kit should include necessities such as water, non-perishable food, medications, first aid supplies, clothing and important documents such as identification, insurance policies and medical records. By having these items readily available, families can streamline the evacuation process and ensure they have everything they need to stay safe and comfortable during an emergency.

In the event that the “Go” phase is activated, timely evacuation is essential to ensure the safety of residents and first responders. It’s critical to stay informed about wildfire activity in your area and follow evacuation orders issued by local authorities. You can stay informed about fire conditions by following the City’s social media platforms and checking the City’s Emergency Blog at SantaClaritaEmergency.com.  If evacuation becomes necessary, follow designated evacuation routes.

By prioritizing preparedness, prevention and cooperation, we can collectively reduce the risk of wildfires and protect our community from their devastating effects. For more in-depth information about building your Ready! Set! Go! action plan, please visit fire.LaCounty.gov/RSG.  

Ken Striplin is Santa Clarita’s City Manager and can be reached at kstriplin@santaclarita.gov.

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