Firefighters encourage homeowners to prepare early for fire season

FRAZIER PARK, Calif. - Firefighters are encouraging homeowners to prepare for fire season right now.

Hundreds of fires have been reported across the state so far this year and just last year the Grand Fire tore through the mountains near Frazier Park.

“When we watch the news coverage of the fires or grand fire it's very concerning. We get afraid,” said Frazier Park resident Debbie Turner.

That’s why it’s important for all homeowners to create a defensible space around their home.

“Having an area cleared around your home to keep the fire away is very important regardless of whether we're in a drought or not, but being that we have drought conditions it's very important to have vegetation cleared earlier,” said Kern County Fire Captain Joe Appleton.

Appleton told 23ABC that includes things like leaves and pine needles surrounding a home. Appleton said homeowners should also clear pine needles off their roof and make sure trees are trimmed. Trees and limbs should be removed within 10 feet of stovepipe and chimney outlets.

Homeowners also need to provide a 30 foot clearance of all combustibles and vegetation around all structures and an additional 70 feet of reduced vegetation for a total of 100 feet.

"Taking that short amount of time will save you hours and hours or years of rebuilding your house or loss of your house,” said Appleton.

Frazier Park resident Debbie Turner knows firsthand just how dangerous dry brush in mountain communities like Frazier Park can be.

"We've had several experiences where we've felt that fear of worry. We've had fires over the ridge,” said Turner.

So Turner works to make her home safe and she hopes others will do the same.

“Please keep that defensible space.”

Property clearance must be completed by June 15th. Homeowners who do not have a defensible space will be subject to administrative citations.

For more information visit www.kerncountyfire.org

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