Be prepared for wildfires

Wildfires are among Orange County’s leading disasters, pointing to the need for residents in Aliso Viejo and throughout the county to take steps to make their homes less vulnerable to wildfires.

Many people built and landscaped their homes without fully understanding the impact that could result from wildfire. A major step to reducing fire threats to your home is to create significant fire-resistant space around it (clear away dead vegetation and weeds).  In addition, investing in a few repairs now can save you the cost of having to rebuild after a fire. Consider the following:

•         Have a fire-resistant roof (i.e. tile)

•         Clear leaves and pine needles from roof and gutters

•         Enclose roof eaves and the undersides of decks

•         Cover attic, foundation and garage vents with metal mesh

•         Repair cracks, bird holes and other openings in roof coverings

•         Ensure spark arrestors are on chimneys

When strong winds mix with low-humidity levels causing a Red Flag condition, wildfires are more likely to occur and spread.  OC Fire Watch program alerts residents of elevated fire dangers in wilderness parks and communities across Orange County.  The program increases public awareness of fire dangers by raising red “Fire Alert” flags at fire stations and participating City Halls such as Aliso Viejo City Hall at 12 Journey.  (See this map of Aliso Viejo ember and fire-hazard severity zones). The program incorporates fire watch volunteers to help monitor areas that are especially vulnerable during Red Flag conditions. Members of the Aliso Viejo Police Assistance Liaison Services (AV PALS) volunteer program have been trained in the fire watch program.

This is the second of several messages the City is sending out during National Preparedness Month to educate residents about the importance of being prepared.

For more information, contact Aliso Viejo Emergency Management Coordinator Sarah Barker at sbarker@ocsd.org.

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