Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Steve Abbott
North County Fire Protection District 

Fire Chief's Report ¬– defensible space gives homes a chance in wildfires


Last updated 1/21/2018 at 9:47am

Although we are now in the winter months, last month’s Lilac fire demonstrated that fire season is year-round in Southern California and such devastating winter fires are not uncommon.

Sixteen years ago in February 2002 we experienced the Gavilan fire, which destroyed 46 homes and burned 10,000 acres under very similar circumstances. In surveying the Lilac fire’s path of destruction it was fairly evident that most residences that survived – as was the case in the Gavilan fire – had sufficient defensible space and were well maintained.

As much as we would like to be everywhere at once, today’s reality is homes that are most likely to survive are those that can stand alone during a wildfire. In fact, during the Lilac fire there were many homes that survived without the presence of any firefighters, which is often the case during the initial stages of a major wildfire.

Defensible space is what provides all with a fighting chance of survival, and please keep in mind that such recommendations are minimum standards. To have a home that can truly withstand a wildfire we must change our perception of what an aesthetically-pleasing home looks like.

December 2017 Incident Report

Medical Related: 299

Fire Related: 16

Public Service / Other: 225

Traffic Collusion / Rescue: 47

Monthly Total: 587

Year to Date: 6,364

December 2017 Incident Report

Medical Related: 305

Fire Related: 6

Public Service / Other: 126

Traffic Collusion / Rescue: 53

Monthly Total: 490

Year to Date: 5,842


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