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TECOM Training & Education Command

United States Marine Corps

Be prepared Fire Season is heating up

By Lance Cpl. Frances Candelaria | | April 23, 2010

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California’s fire season is May to October. Wildfires burn thousands of acres in California every year and in 2009 alone, there were 63 fires which burned approximately 336,020 acres of land.  Homes are ruined, land is lost, and lives are in danger.  These fires start in a variety of ways and are all different, however, a common factor they all share the damage could have been prevented.

To help those aboard the depot to prepare, the safety office has a good tip to keep in mind.

“Be cautious,” said Shirley Bishop-Davis, safety director, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, “There are so many different types of fires, and you just have to be very cautious when dealing with (flammable products).  Barbeques, for example: if you’re using propane tanks you need to know how to light it and how to store them.” 

Bishop-Davis also said with all the resources available, if someone doesn’t know

the safety precautions of electronic devices all they have to do is ask.

California is especially susceptible to wildfires due to dry and hot weather.  During summer and early fall, these conditions put California at a higher risk for wildfires.

“Any time the humidity drops below ten percent, we are prone to more fires,” said Gary Chiles, captain, MCRD San Diego Fire Station.  “To help combat this, people should maintain good house-keeping: cut weeds within 150 feet of (their homes), and remove all flammable items from the outside walls of their house.”

  The National Fire Protection Association recommends that every smoke detector be tested monthly and to replace the detectors batteries once a year.  Chiles added there are many products people can apply to their homes before an immediate threat is posed, such as eave sprays which are applied to the eaves and awnings of homes to make them more fire retardant.

In the case of wildfires, the warnings and actions given by officials, should not be ignored.

“Take shelter until the fire department says to do otherwise. When told to evacuate heed the warning, do not ignore it,” said Chiles. 


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