Kern County, state officials discuss 'Safer from Wildfires' framework

California Wildfires-Utility
Posted at 6:20 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 21:20:29-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Things are heating up around Kern County and the rest of the state, and we're not that far from the hottest months of the year. State officials are working to help prepare residents for the dangers of potential wildfires this summer.

"For years now, we have been experiencing year-round fire activity. And this year, unfortunately, fire season, or what really is now a fire year, is only going to be exacerbated by the fact we've had three years of drought, we've had climate change, all of this making much more potential for large and damaging wildfires," explained Cal Fire Chief Daniel Berlant.

To help residents better prepare for wildfires, State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara hosted a virtual forum with Cal Fire Tuesday to go over the "Safer from Wildfires" framework.

The framework consists of three pillars: protecting the structure by installing fire-resistant vents and upgraded windows; protecting the immediate surroundings such as through the creation of defensible spaces around a home; and working together as a community by creating evacuation plans and keeping communication with local or state fire agencies.

And it's not just about preparing for wildfires, but also preventing them.

To that end, the Kern County Fire Department says it will be conducting a prescribed burn Wednesday near the intersection of Highway 228 and Highway 58, east of Bakersfield.

The fire department says prescribed burns intentionally reduce vegetation to increase public safety.

The Kern County Sheriff's Office says the burn may impact traffic, and asks drivers to be aware of firefighters in the area and reduce their speed.


Put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist:

  • Face masks or coverings
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Items to take if time allows:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.