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Monday, July 16, 2012

LA HONDA: Wildland Urban Interface and Evacuation drill

  Local Emergency Responders Train on Wildfire and Evacuation 

WHAT:  The community of LA HONDA FIRE BRIGADE will be the host of an area-wide Wildland Urban Interface and Evacuation drill this coming Saturday, July 28th. 

WHEN:  The drill will start at 8:00 am. The scenario for the drill involves a fast moving wildland fire making contact with multiple homes simultaneously. The training will test the firefighters’ abilities to organize, rapidly deploy and control an urban interface type fire. In addition, it will help the ability of disaster preparedness agencies to notify, activate, mobilize, deploy and operate during a fast moving wildfire.
 Over a dozen local residents have agreed to allow their homes to be incorporated into this drill. At each of these homes firefighters will be making critical decisions involving the appropriate actions to take and the safety of the public and their own crews. No live fire will be used in this training. The “evacuations” will be simulated by handing out informational flyers.

WHERE:  The La Honda Fire Brigade, along with a number of other first responders and disaster preparedness groups will be conducting a wildfire and evacuation drill in the La Honda Canyon’s Cuesta Guild area.

WHY:  This drill will mimic portions of the Bay Area’s most damaging interface fires, where homes in areas adjacent to open space are threatened by wildfires. 
 Over the last 20 years, 24,464 acres have burned and 3,895 structures have been lost to the largest of these fires.  These include the 1991 Oakland Hills “Tunnel Fire”, the 1995 Marin County “Vision Fire”, the 2002 Santa Clara “Croy Fire” and most recently the Lockheed Fire in Bonny Doon in 2009.
 These devastating fires have all been in close proximity to La Honda and should serve as a reminder to La Honda residents that we are not immune from a devastating wildfire in our local area. “Being prepared for this type of incident is critical. It’s especially important this year with fire conditions becoming more critical each day” said Ari Delay, Chief of the La Honda Fire Brigade.

 WHO: Engines from the La Honda Fire Brigade, Kings Mountain Fire Brigade, Coastside Fire Protection District, San Mateo County Fire Department and Cal Fire will be participating in this drill.
 This drill will also be a test for several other Coastside disaster preparedness groups, including La Honda Fire’s CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), South Coast CERT, SC4 an amateur radio club, Puente, ARES (ham radio group), San Mateo County Sherriff, San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services, San Mateo County Large Animal Evacuation group and the Coastside Medical Reserve Corps.

 For further information please contact: La Honda Fire Brigade Chief Ari Delay @ 650-747-0381.
La Honda Fire Brigade 8945 Honda Road La Honda, CA 94020 TEL (650) 747-0381 FAX (650) 747- 0763 
California Fire News 2012 

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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