Ready! Set! Go!
Wildland Fire Preparedness
As we near the beginning of our traditional fire season, the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District wants everyone to remember three simple words: Ready! Set! Go!
By following the simple instructions in the Ready! Set! Go! program, residents can help to protect their family and home, and make it easier for firefighters to protect homes when a wildfire threatens a neighborhood.
Ready! Set! Go! is the result of a nationwide discussion in the fire service on how to best protect lives and property in what we call the wildland urban interface, the area where development borders a natural area and the ember zone, which is an where the embers from a wind-driven wildfire can ignite homes.
The program had its roots in Australia’s “Leave Early, Stay and Defend” program, but American fire officials determined that the risks inherent in not evacuating in advance of a wildfire outweighed any potential benefit.
So, in cooperation with Cal Fire, Orange County Fire Authority, Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, the Los Angeles City Fire Department, San Bernardino County Fire Department, Riverside County Fire Department, and input from many other fire departments across the country, the concept of Ready! Set! Go! was developed.
Using these three words, you can prepare your own personal Wildfire Action Plan and be better prepared should a wildfire threaten your home.
Get Ready! Take personal responsibility and act now so your home is ready in case of an approaching wildfire.
Create defensible space by clearing brush away from your home. Be sure there are no tree limbs hanging over your house and the roof and gutters are free of leaves and pine needles. Make sure ornamental shrubbery is away from the sides of your house and that leaf litter under them is cleared away. Embers from a wind-driven wildfire can land in these places and start new fires.
Replace shake/shingle roofs with fire-resistant roofing materials. Use ignition-resistant building materials when constructing or remodeling your home and plant fire-resistant landscaping.
Assemble emergency supplies and prepare a list of the things you want to take with you if you need to evacuate. Remember to think about things like food, water, medications, phone chargers, computers, cash and food for your pets. Plan your escape routes; you should know at least two different ways out of your neighborhood.
Get Set! If a wildfire threatens your neighborhood, act immediately. Back your car into the driveway (or park it pointing toward your escape route), roll up the windows and load it with everything you want to take with you.
Remove combustible materials from around your house. This includes patio furniture, firewood, decorations and anything else that could catch fire. Then monitor the news or your fire department’s website for information on the fire.
Go! Don’t wait to be told to evacuate, leave early! By this time, you’ve done everything you reasonably can to make your house defendable, you’ve prepared your family and you’ve loaded the car, so go! By leaving early, you ensure your family’s safety and you give firefighters the room they need to work.