Living With Wildfire: Are You Prepared?

Oct 19, 2017

Recent catastrophic fires driven by hot, dry winds destroyed nearly 6,000 homes and businesses in Northern California. More than 40 people died and many are still missing, and thousands are homeless and/or jobless.

Across California and the West, many communities are more vulnerable than we realize, given the buildup of fuels over the past hundred years. Even damp coastal redwood forests have seen major wildfires, as evidenced by the massive fire scars on ancient trees.

Today my guests are two local experts in community fire preparedness. Cybelle Immitt is a planner with the Humboldt County Public Works Department. Tracy Katelman is a forester and founder of ForEverGreen Forestry based in Eureka, California and Pucón, Chile. They are launching a series of community workshops on fire preparedness that will be held in 14 communities around the county from Oct. 26 to Dec. 6.

Living with Fire – tips for fire preparedness, from fireproofing your home to developing an emergency plan.

Sign up for Humboldt County’s Emergency Alert system! Humboldt ALERT allows the Office of Emergency Services to contact thousands of residents in minutes, so you can find out about an emergency right away using methods that you choose, such as email, phone, and text message. If you signed up for notifications previously, you need to sign up with Humboldt ALERT: the former system will NOT transfer your information over to the new system.

A series of community workshops on fire preparedness will be held in 14 communities around Humboldt County beginning Oct. 26. Join fire planners, firefighters, and other experts to learn more about preparing for wildfire while providing important input to the County Fire Safe Council on your community’s specific needs.

The Humboldt County Fire Safe Council was formed in 2002. It is currently updating the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, which covers everything from reducing fuels through prescribed burns to fire-safe tips and emergency planning. Follow the Fire Safe Council on Facebook.

For more information, visit the Humboldt County Community Wildfire Protection Plan page. Email Cybelle Immitt to be added to the stakeholder mailing list and to learn about the community workshops and how you can get involved. 

Donate to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund: Redwood Credit Union, in partnership with the RCU Community Fund, Inc., The Press Democrat, and Senator Mike McGuire, is accepting financial donations to assist fire victims and aid relief efforts. 100% of your tax-deductible donations will go directly to support those affected. When you donate, you can choose to support any of the four counties affected: Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, or Lake. You may also designate "all" and your funds will be equally distributed among all four counties. 

Also tonight at 7 pm on KHSU, Cybelle and Yana Valacovich from UCCE, Hugh Scanlon from CAL FIRE, and Eric Knapp from U.S. Forest Service - Six Rivers National Forest will be on Thursday Night Talk sharing more about the reality of wildfire here in Humboldt County. Tune in and join the conversation!