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Archived News Release from 2005

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Fire Department Urges Residents to Prepare for Fire Season During Wildfire Awareness Week, May 8 - 14

Redwood City, CA - May 9 , 2005 - This winter’s record rainfalls have spurred an unusually heavy growth of annual vegetation, which will dry out this summer and create an increased fire hazard. The Redwood City Fire Department wants to use Wildfire Awareness Week, May 8 – 14, to remind the community of the importance of taking measures to reduce the danger of wildfire in the “Wildland-Urban Interface” neighborhoods of Redwood City (houses in the trees and grass). This special awareness week comes on the heels of the annual “Arson Awareness Week” which was May 1 – 7.

For these properties, a minimum of 30 feet of defensible perimeter is required. However the Fire Department recommends that attention be focused on maintaining 100 feet of clearance, or defensible space, as a fire safety perimeter. Defensible space does not mean a ring of bare dirt around the house. It does mean removing vegetation at least 30 to 100 feet away from all structures. Examples of common defensible space measures include pruning tree branches away from roofs and chimneys, clearing debris from roofs, and using fire-resistant plants in landscaping, in addition to other strategies.

The Redwood City Fire Department also recommends that homeowners build or remodel with fire-resistant materials to keep their family, homes, and communities, fire safe. Other preparations include having an evacuation plan, making sure everyone in the family is aware of easy exits, and having a meeting place for the family after they are out of danger.

Homeowners can assess their home’s defensibility by using the homeowner’s checklist found at the Fire Safe Council website. Further information on making one’s home fire safe is also available by calling the Redwood City Fire Department at 650-780-7400 or by visiting the fire safety pages of the Fire Department's website.

The Redwood City Fire Department operates out of five fire stations housing five fire engines and one fire truck. Currently the department consists of 70 staff members including firefighters, fire captains, chief officers, fire prevention and administrative personnel.

Visit Redwood City 's website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business.

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Contact:
Gerry Kohlmann
Redwood City Fire Chief
(650) 780-7400

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