The Fire Line - Fire District #4 News

Irv Schick
Staff Writer

Wild land fire season is here! All we need to do is watch the news on TV or read the newspaper or check out the online news. Large wildland fires are burning all over the world, Sweden and Greece are the most recent.
As of this writing, there are around forty wildland fires in the western United States, plus one in Minnesota. All the western states, from Montana to New Mexico, California to Washington and in between are impacted.
Some of the fires are in truly wildland areas only, but most are in the “wildland urban interface”. The area where a wildland fire can readily extend into the areas of human habitation.
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), sixty percent of the new homes built in the U.S. since 1990 were built in the “wildland urban interface”, which now represents 40 percent of the single-family homes in the U.S. Essentially, nearly half of the homes in the United States are at risk for wildfire.
Between 1999 and 2015, 2,750 structures (homes and other buildings) were destroyed by wildfire annually, but in 2015, 4,636 structures were destroyed by wildfire. The 2017 Tubbs fire in California consumed 5,500 structures alone.
In 1990, the cost of suppression of wildfire was reported to be about $400 million and nearly $1.5 billion in 2000. According to the national Interagency Fire Center, these costs reached nearly $2 billion in 2016 and in 2017 the costs neared $3 billion. These costs do not include the insured and uninsured losses or the economic impact to communities.
Hopefully everyone remembers the meaning of the evacuation levels. Level 1 (READY). Get ready, have your pets and livestock available. Have your medications, records and valuables ready to load at a moment notice. Level 2 (SET). Time to load. Get the livestock out and load everything else that you are going to take. Level 3 (GO). It is time to go. Don’t wait!
Remember, when an emergency threatens, you may not have much time at all from initial notice to GO. GO may be the first notice.
In May, Fire District 4 responded to thirty-three requests for assistance. Twenty-one Emergency Medical Calls, one vehicle fire, one grass or brush fire, one illegal rubbish fire, three personal service calls, two steam or dust mistaken for fire, one structure fire, one smoke detector malfunction, one false alarm and one vehicle accident.
For the month, our volunteer members gave two hundred and thirty-three hours of their time for incident responses and training.
In June, Fire district 4 responded to thirty-five requests for assistance. One electrical problem, fourteen emergency medical calls, three extrication of victims calls, two grass or brush fires, two personal service calls, four steam or dust mistaken for fire calls, two structure fires, and six vehicle accidents.
For the month, our volunteer members gave four hundred and forty-four hours of their time for incident responses and training.

REMEMBER: Volunteer firefighters and EMT's are your neighbors helping their neighbors!