BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Kern County Firefighters are already preparing for the hot dry summer months and fire season. They’re also asking you to do your part to preventing the start and spread of fires.
Monday KCFD had three crews creating fire breaks around Kern County. They’re also reminding home owners and property owners that it’s their job to make similar fire breaks around their home and property before June First.
KCFD's public information officer, Andrew Freeborn said, “Fire, it’s extremely easy to start, especially in the summer months when all of the fuels have dried out.”
Freeborn added humans are the cause of 90% of wildfires. Last year KCFD responded to more than 500 wildfires and they’re already on pace to surpass that this year. That’s why its extra important for KCFD to send crews to create fire breaks around the Kern County to help them fight future fires and to protect you and the firefighters’ lives during fire season.
Justin Curtis, who is a KCFD crew boss for one of those fire break crews, said, “[Fire break lines are] a preplanned usable, defensible space that allows the public to work their way out of an area and lets the fire fighters work their way into an area to help suppress fires faster.”
What they’re trying to do is get this clearing for a fire break. They’re removing the shrubbery, they’re also removing the low hanging branches here up to six feet on the trees and the rest of the shrubs they’re burning so that there is this fire break between the property and the town and where the intense fire would be coming from so by the time the flames come across those flames would be less intense.
Kern County law shows home owners and property owners have until June First to make their own fire breaks around their property and remove potential fuel for wildfires. And Freeborn said people shouldn’t just think of it as law, but a way to save lives.
“It’s for the firefighters who are here to protect them as well," said Freeborn. "By making that space in and around your home safe, it give us an area where we can make a stand. Where we can safely protect your family to protect your home.”
The law reads, if a home owner or property owner doesn't adhear to the hazardous reduction guidelines by June First then they will receive a $500 dollar fine and 15 days to comply. If they fail again they will receive an additional $1,000 dollar fine. For the guidelines for hazardous reduction visit the Kern County Fire Department's website.