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Be prepared for foothill wildfire

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As over a dozen fires are burning across California, it’s important to be more prepared than ever before. In Thursday’s Auburn Journal, we published a 24-page Fire and Water special section. The piece included information on how to “harden” your home, as well as detail on assembling an emergency supply kit and other planning procedure to best prepare for wildfires.

Last year it was the Thomas Fire. Currently, the Carr Fire in Redding continues to burn more than 130,000 acres, with over 1,000 homes, 19 commercial businesses and 480 outbuildings destroyed. Nearby, a fire burned in Pilot Hill this week, charring 66 acres, destroying three structures and damaging two. Thanks to area firefighters, the blaze’s progress was quickly stopped.

Local air quality has been noticeable smoky in recent weeks, with Placer County officials calling for advisories and those sensitive to stay inside.

All these facts should warrant heightened awareness and diligent preparedness. Locally, our firefighters have been nothing short of heroic in defending our area, however, we’ve got a long way to go before the rains come.

In the mean time, there are many things Placer residents can do to help firefighters save our home and lives in the event of a wildfire.

Cal Fire requires at least 100 feet of defensible space around each home. This includes removing dead brush, weeds and low-hanging branches. Not only will the property look nice and manicured, your home will have a chance to be saved if a wildfire burns through the neighborhood.

Consider landscaping with fire- and drought-resistant flowers and trees such as, sage, red bud, ornamental garlic, lavender and lilac. With these plants, you’ll also save on your water bill.

Is your go-bag ready? Sometimes there are only minutes to evacuate. Having one thing to grab could save your life. Here is where preparation is key. In that bag it is recommended to have such things as water, prescriptions, change of clothes, extra pair of eyeglasses, spare car keys, credit cards, cash, first-aid kit, copies of important documents, such as insurance policies, deeds and licenses. If you have pet, pack a go-bag for them too.

Fires are fact of life for Gold Country residents, let’s do our part to be prepared and safe.