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  • 8/8/2019 Fire and Water - 2010

    1/16

    Published in partnership with

    Placer County Water Agency

    Supplement to Auburn Journal,

    Colfax Record and Auburn Trader

    49 Fire:Lessonslearned

    Using waterwisely,efficiently

    Neighborsfight firebeforeit starts

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    BY BRAD HARRISCAL FIRE UNIT CHIEF

    Every year I am asked if this will be the worst fire seasonever.

    And this year, after a latespring with above-normal rain-fall, I was often asked if there would be a fire season at all.The truth is, CaliforniasMediterranean climate andtopography naturally lendthemselves to wildfires. We real-

    ly never know when or where awildfire is going to strike, but wedo know it is going to happen.All it takes is one bad day.

    While temperatures havebeen unseasonably cooler overthe past few weeks, the numberof wildfires Cal Fire hasresponded to has remainedsteady. Most of these fires havebeen contained to 10 acres orless, mainly due to the mildweather and the aggressive ini-

    tial attack by firefighters.Historically, we see the worst

    fires in late September andOctober. Despite cooler tem-peratures, it only takes one dayof high winds to take the firedanger to extreme.

    Already this year our crewshave responded to vegetationfires in Nevada, Yuba, and Plac-er counties, and also severalfires elsewhere in the state.These fires have shown not onlyhow dry it is, but how well our

    area fire agencies are workingtogether.It is critical to Placer Countys

    fire protection that there iscooperation and team workamong local, state and federalfire agencies.

    Just as important as fire pro-tection, so is fire prevention.The fact is residents have theability to prevent wildfires. Over90 percent of the wildfires in CalFires jurisdiction are somehow

    human caused. Just following afew tips can help prevent a fire.

    1. Never use lawn mowers toclear dead grass and vegetationduring the heat of the day. Asimple spark from a mowersblade on a rock can start a fire.

    2. Completely extinguishyour campfire.

    3. Dont pull your car over indry grass. The hot exhaust ormuffler can ignite the grass.

    4. Never throw away a ciga-

    rette outdoors.As we move into the fall the

    fire danger is only going toincrease. I can tell you that CalFire and area fire agencies standready to respond, but are youprepared?

    To learn more on how to befire safe, visit the Cal Fire web-site at www.fire.ca.gov orwww.ReadyForWildfire.org.

    Brad Harris is the Cal Fire Nevada-Yuba-

    Placer Unit Chief.

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    2 FIRE & WATER 2010 Supplement to Gold Country Media

    Fire season far from over

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    FROM THE CHIEF

    WHATS INSIDE

    How to protect your property and home from fire Page 4Is your home water efficient? Page 6

    Get ready for winter Page 7Find out Calstars role in an emergency situation Page 10Neighbors work together to lower their fire risk Page 12Fire Prevention Week is coming Page 14Insurance can help with the recovery process Page 15

  • 8/8/2019 Fire and Water - 2010

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    Supplement to Gold Country Media FIRE & WATER 2010 3

    Is this fire hazard out YOUR back window?

    Call us to clear it!

    Let usattack unrulybrush, banish poison oak, and thin out overgrown trees that keepyou from enjoying YOUR property!

    The concentration of flammable material in the fuel break before it was clearedsix years ago would burn too hot to go near and even if a firefighter could getnear the blaze it wouldnt make a difference, Fire Chief Mark DAmbrogi said.

    With the trees trimmed up and the brush cut back the area looks like a park andallows firefighters to set up an offensive front against a fire.

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  • 8/8/2019 Fire and Water - 2010

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    4 FIRE & WATER 2010 Supplement to Gold Country Media

    BY GLORIA YOUNG

    GOLD COUNTRY NEWS SERVICE

    Its been a milder sum-mer than usual. But afterthree months withoutrain, fields of dry, yellowvegetation are a constantreminder that the risk ofwildfire is very high thistime of year.

    For homeowners, somecommon sense planningand preparation can pro-vide a margin of safety in

    the event of a fire.By law, homeowners

    must maintain 100 feet ofdefensible space aroundthe home and outbuild-ings. The first 30 feetmust be cleared down tolawn, soil or vegetationnot more than 4 incheshigh, Jerry Vice, owner ofHigh Sierra Fire, said in aprevious interview.

    The next 70 feet, called

    the fuel reduction zone,needs to have adequatespacing between plants,shrubs and trees.

    For trees, that meanslimbs no lower than 10feet off the ground and 10feet away from a chim-ney.

    Bushes need clearanceof one-and-one-halftimes their length. Treesneed to be spaced toreduce the opportunityfor flames to spread, hesaid.

    Homeowners also needto clear plants fromaround trees to eliminatea vertical fire ladder,according to the Cal Firewebsite.

    When choosing plantsand shrubs, keep in mindthat some are more fire

    resistant than others.At High Hand Nurseryin Loomis, manager Lyn

    Bristol says to stay awayfrom plants that have alot of oils.

    (Look for plants) thathave a lot of their ownmoisture, like succu-lents, she said.

    Cactus can be a goodchoice because they car-ry their own water withthem, she said.

    But stay away fromtrees with a lot of oil, likeEucalyptus

    They go up likesticks, Bristol said.

    In fact, Scott Serenbetz,owner of Bushwackers in Auburn, said he hasremoved more than 40

    eucalyptus trees duringthe past couple of weeks.This is the busiest time

    of year for Serenbetz,who specializes in creat-ing defensible spacearound homes and com-mercial buildings.

    My job is to assess thefire hazard and basicallyrecommend what shouldbe done, he said.

    That includes knockingdown weeds, trimmingbranches and thinningthe space between treesas needed.

    Its a job hes beendoing for 23 years.

    Typically we removemost of the native bushes blackberry, manzanitaand Scotch broom, he

    said.Then he focuses on thetrees.

    Trimming and spacingnot only will increase fireprotection, but will alsocreate healthier trees, hesaid.

    Creating defensiblespace can take as little ashalf-a-day to a week ormore, depending onacreage. But once itsdone, its fairly easy tomaintain.

    If it is done right thefirst time, then its some-thing the homeownerscan take care of them-selves from there on out,Serenbetz said. It justneeds a little bit of workyearly.

    A frequent problem hesees is too little spacebetween trees.

    People will trim thetrees (vertically) but notgive them some horizon-tal space, he said.

    Some other potentialtrouble spots are wood-piles stacked next to abuilding and incorrectpositioning of propanetanks.

    You should have a 10-foot perimeter down tomineral soil aroundpropane tanks, Vice said.

    Vents and gutters areoften overlooked as well. Vents need to bescreened to keep outembers and gutters needto be cleaned regularly.

    Reach Gloria Young at gloriay

    @goldcountrymedia.com

    Agencies offer somefire-prevention tips

    Here are some fire-pre-

    vention tips, courtesy ofCal Fire: Create and maintain

    clearance around yourhome. Proper clearance to100 feet dramaticallyincreases the chance of your house surviving a wildfire. This 100-footdefensible space also pro-vides for firefighter safety when protecting homesduring a wildland fire.

    Burn debris only onpermissive burn days

    Cut weeds and drygrass before 10 a.m. whenthe humidity is higher andtemperatures are cooler toreduce the chance ofigniting a fire

    Follow proper guide-lines for burning debrison your property.

    The FireSafe Council

    provides the followingsuggestions:

    Keep rain gutters androof clean of flammablematerial

    Clear all flammablematerials from the deck

    Move woodpiles andgarbage cans away fromthe home

    Use fine metal screensto cover eaves, roof andfoundation vents to keep windblown embers fromentering

    Inspect and clean thechimney every year. Trimbranches 10 feet awayfrom fireplaces

    Get rid of flammablematerials within 10 feet ofa propane tank and, ifpossible, position it 30feet away from structures

    Window screens

    should be metal, not plas-tic or other flammable ormeltable material

    Keep your property clean and clear of fire fuel

    KIM PALAFERRI GOLD COUNTRY NEWS SERVICE

    The Bushwackers crew, including Francisco Yvarra, Carlos Gonzales, Martin Lara, Francisco Martinez andowner Scott Serenbetz, are helpful to many homeowners in preparing their yards for a fire-safe home.

    Common sense andplanning go a long way

  • 8/8/2019 Fire and Water - 2010

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    Supplement to Gold Country Media FIRE & WATER 2010 5

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  • 8/8/2019 Fire and Water - 2010

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    Research has shown

    that California con-sumers want to save water, but theyre notalways sure just how todo it.

    The Placer County Water Agency can help.PCWA customers maytake advantage of a rangeof services and helpfuladvice and literature thatcan help reduce theamount of water you use

    and the amount of mon-ey you pay for your water.

    Services offeredthrough the PCWA WaterEfficiency Programinclude Water-WiseHouse Calls performed

    by trained specialists and

    a number of rebateoptions for customerswho install water efficientfixtures, appliances andlandscapes.

    Water-WiseHouse Calls

    Call the PCWA Cus-tomer Services Center tomake an appointment fora water efficiency special-ist to visit your home or

    business. Heres what toexpect:

    An evaluation of theefficiency of your irriga-tion system.

    A customized irriga-tion watering schedule.

    Identification of any

    irrigation leaks, broken ormismatched sprinklerheads, high pressure andother common problems.

    Water efficiency pro-gram materials and water-wise landscapingtips.

    A check of toilets forleaks and replacement oftoilet flapper valves, ifneeded and requested.

    Installation of water

    efficient shower headsand faucet aerators, ifneeded and requested.

    Water-Wise House Callsare available by appoint-ment and on request bythe customer. For an

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    Tips For A Safe & Clean Burn Season: Have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually. Have your stove or fireplace serviced and cleaned

    annually.(Call for services available.)

    No better time than now to replace your old wood stoveor insert. Heres why:(Apply for PLACER COUNTYS WOOD STOVECHANGE-OUT PROGRAM and Save $750-$1,500)-PLUS-Last year to receive a 30% Federal Tax Credit (Up to $1,500)when you purchase a wood or pellet stove or insert.

    Remembering the Auburn Fire:In a time of great loss and devastation, victims of the Auburn fire gave back to thelocal community during slow economic times and supported local businesses such asours. We would like to thank you for allowing us to assist you with your fireplace andhearth needs!

    RESTORING CHERISHED KEEPSAKES

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    6 FIRE & WATER 2010 Supplement to Gold Country Media

    COURTESY GOLD COUNTRY NEWS SERVICE

    PCWA water efficiency specialist Julie O'Connor performs a Water Wise HouseCall in Auburn.

    How to be water efficientin your home and business

  • 8/8/2019 Fire and Water - 2010

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    Supplement to Gold Country Media FIRE & WATER 2010 7

    appointment, call PCWA Cus-tomer Services at (530) 823-4850 or (800) 464-0030.

    Customer RebatesPCWA offers water efficiency

    incentives through a customerrebate program.

    For applications and infor-

    mation about the program,please contact the PCWA Cus-tomer Services Center or seewww.pcwa.net.

    Current rebate offers include: High-efficiency washing

    machines, rebates of $150 High-efficiency toilets,

    rebates of up to $175 Ultra low-flow toilets,

    rebates of up to $125 High-efficiency toilets (com-

    mercial), rebates of up to $200

    Waterless urinals (commer-cial), rebates of up to $200

    Hot water heaters, rebatesof $50 for the installation ofpoint-of-use hot water heaters

    Tankless hot water heater with recirculating pump,rebates of $150

    ~Placer County Water Agency

    Winter storms can be dan-gerous and damaging if you are

    unprepared. When the temper-ature starts to drop, its time tothink about getting ready.

    During a storm, the combi-nation of strong winds andheavy rain could result in trees,tree limbs and other vegetationcoming into contact with over-head power lines and inter-rupting electric service to cus-tomers. If customers experi-ence a power outage, theyshould call PG&Es outage

    information line at 1-800-PGE-5002 to report the outage or toget updates on power restora-tion efforts in their area.

    PG&E electric crews andemergency personnel are onalert and ready to respond tooutages when they occur.Through extensive preventa-tive maintenance and anaward-winning tree trimming

    program, PG&E works hardyear-round to prepare for andminimize storm-related out-ages.

    Your safety is our first con-cern. Here are a number of sug-gestions and tips from PG&E tohelp our customers before andduring a storm:

    Have battery-operatedradios with fresh batteriesready for updates on stormconditions and power outages.

    Have battery-operatedflashlights with fresh batterieson hand.

    Have a cell phone or hard-

    wire telephone on hand. Cord-less phones will not work with-out electricity.

    PG&E recommends thatcustomers do not use candlesbecause of the risk of fire. If youmust use candles, extreme cau-tion is urged. Do not use can-dles near drapes, under lamp-shades, or near holiday trees.Keep candles away from small

    children, and do not leave can-dles unattended.

    Fill used liter-size plasticsoda bottles with water and

    place them in the freezer. Dur-ing an extended outage, trans-fer them to the refrigerator toprevent food from spoiling.Open the refrigerator onlywhen necessary, keeping warmair out and cooler air in.

    If you have a generator, callPG&Es customer service line at1-800-PGE-5000 to let us know.

    Make sure your generator isinstalled safely and properly. Ifit is not, you risk damaging

    your property and endangeringyourself and PG&E line workerswho may be working on powerlines some distance from yourhome.

    Information on the safeinstallation of generators canbe found on our website atwww.pge.com/generator.

    If you see a downed powerline, assume it is live or carry-

    ing electric current. Do nottouch or try to move it andkeep children and animalsaway. Report downed power

    lines and other electric emer-gencies immediately by calling911 or 1-800-743-5002, PG&Es24-Hour Emergency and Cus-tomer Service Line. During andafter a storm, please keep awayfrom flooded areas anddowned trees, as these areascould be hiding an energizedpower line.

    If your power goes out, turnoff or even unplug all electricappliances. Otherwise, when

    power is restored, severalappliances may come back onat once and overload your cir-cuits or hot appliances maycome on while youre away orasleep and pose a fire hazard.

    Leave a single lamp on toalert you when power returns.Turn your appliances back onone at a time when conditionsreturn to normal.

    Winters on the way are you ready?PG&E offers some some tips

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    8 FIRE & WATER 2010 Supplement to Gold Country Media

    P.O. Box144 Ferguso

    Auburn, CA530.823.

    Good master planning, specifically theconnected water systems of the Placer County

    Water Agency and the Nevada Irrigation District,helped to limit the damage in last years 49 Fire in

    North Auburn.The wind-driven fire broke out Aug. 30, 2009,

    near Highway 49, and by the time it wasextinguished it had destroyed 63 homes and burned343 acres.

    A large part of the area that burned is suppliedwith water from NID through its North AuburnWater Treatment Plant on Locksley Lane. Althoughfire damage at the plant was minor, the f ire burnedall around the facility and knocked out power to thesite, limiting the plants capacity to pump water.

    NID personnel responding to the emergency

    knew the plants generator could not provideenough water for the fight against the f ire andcalled PCWA for mutual aid.

    PCWA crews opened interties with the wateragencys nearby Auburn and Bowman watersystems, allowing water to flow into NIDsdistribution system.

    Upstream, PCWA canal operators ramped upflows to the water plants. Treatment operators at the

    plants pumped more water out into the connectedpipeline systems.

    Bryant Newcomb, PCWAs safety and riskadministrator, said about 2 million gallons of waterflowed to the NID service area during a 24-hour

    emergency period.PCWA General Manager David Breninger said

    In times of fire, helicopters often use PCWAfacilities to refill their tanks for water drops.Here, a copter touches down during theRalston Fire.

    During the catastrophic 49 Fire, NID Maintenance Supt. Tim Nunnink doused flames on thehistoric stamp mill at NIDs North Auburn Water Treatment Plant.

    Good water planninglimited damage in 49 Fire

    the interconnected water systems provided a vitallink, noting there was no serious loss of watersupply or pressure during the emergency.

    This is one of those quietly done, yet criticallyimportant tasks performed by two very public-minded water utilities to help their citizens, hesaid.

    NID General Manager Ron Nelson agreed. Thecooperation and good planning weve had over the

    years really paid off, he said. It could have beenmuch worse.

    Where does your water come frCustomers in Zones 1, 2, 3 and 5 aresupplied with water from the Yuba andBear rivers. This water, up to 125,400 acre-feet yearly, is purchased from PG&E anddelivered through PG&E and PCWA watersystems along the I-80 corridor. Waterfrom the American River also suppliesZones 1, 2 and 5.

    PCWA holds water rights to 120,000acre-feet of water from the American Riverand delivers some of this water through itsAmerican River Pump Station near

    Auburn. In addition to PCWA servicezones, the City of Roseville, San JuanWater District and Sacramento SuburbanWater District contract for use of AmericanRiver water. In eastern Placer CountysZone 4, PCWA supplies groundwater.

    About 35 percent of the water suppliedby the PCWA Water Division is treateddrinking water; about 65 percent is forirrigation use.

    Service Zones

    PCWA canals transport racustomers along the Interstatefrom Alta, through Auburn anagricultural lands west of Lin

    Zone 1: Auburn to NewcasLoomis, Rocklin and Rosevillunincorporated areas treateuntreated water

    Zone 2: A small residentialcustomers (Bianchi Estates),Roseville, served with treated

    Zone 1 and the City of RoseviZone 3: Alta to Meadow ViColfax - treated and untreate

    Zone 4: Groundwater fromused to serve the Lahontan, TiMartis Camp and the Hopkincommunities in the Martis Va

    Zone 5: Irrigation water foagriculture in far western Pla

    www.pcwa.net

    Canal system at heof local water deliv

    The extensive canal system operated bythe Placer County Water Agency providesirrigation water for local agriculture, andmuch more.

    The canals carry water to PCWA watertreatment plants, where it is treated andpiped to consumers in wide areas of PlacerCounty.

    PCWA canals and reservoirs also providegreenbelt, open space and habitat and,importantly, are a key source of water forfire protection.

    The PCWA raw water distributionsystem includes 165 miles of canals,flumes and pipelines. Numerous smallreservoirs operated by PCWA and PG&Eare located along the canal system.

    PCWA is committed to good watershed

    management and the reduction of firedanger.Like some rural homes, PCWAs water

    conveyance system, which still includesaging wooden flumes and supportstructures, is vulnerable to fire, especiallyin remote, heavily-wooded and overgrowncanyons.

    Nearly 4,000 customers depend onPCWA for their irrigation water needs.

    Raw water is used on large and smallfarms and ranches to grow crops and raiselivestock. PCWA water irrigates pasture

    for cattle, sheep and other anigardens, orchards, rice fields,and ranchettes.

    Nurseries and golf courses

    among PCWA irrigation wateIn addition to individual cuwater treatment plants, the casupplies a number of indepenpurveyors who operate local cwater systems.

    Concrete linispeeds, prot

    To increase the efficiencydelivery system, PCWA has aprogram that adds concrete lin

    gunite, to canal walls and bottGunite is a mortar that isthrough a hose in a high velociis sprayed and compacted at oforming a dense, waterproof s

    PCWA canal operations shave found that gunite reducesleakage and prevents water daadjacent properties. In recenthas budgeted an average $1.5annually for canal gunite imprLast year, the agency appliedmiles of gunite.

    S l t t G ld C t M di FIRE & WATER 2010

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    Supplement to Gold Country Media FIRE & WATER 2010 9

    570,n Road95603850

    Public watersystem providesfire protection

    When we think of a public water system, most of us thinkof the safe and healthy drinking water that we use in our homes,schools and businesses.

    Another significant but often overlooked benefit of thepublic water system is in its f ire protection value.

    The Placer County WaterAgency, which supplies Auburn,Colfax and many of theunincorporated areas of PlacerCounty, operates a treated waterdistribution system that currentlycontains 5,419 fire hydrants.

    We have them throughout ourtreated water system and we alsohave 27 additional fire hydrants onour raw water system, said PCWADirector of Field Services Mike

    Nichol. We work very closely withthe fire departments and firedistricts.

    PCWA pipeline systems aredesigned and sized toaccommodate fire flows andnumbers of fire hydrants asestablished by the State Fire Code and local, county and city

    planning guidelines.When new residential and commercial areas are developed,PCWA will accept new facilities into the public water systemonly after they have been approved by local planners and f ireofficials, Nichol said.

    Maintaining fire hydrants is a cooperative effort, Nicholsaid. If there is major maintenance needed, the f ire districtswill call us. They are responsible for testing and routinemaintenance, including marking and painting.

    Auburn Fire Chief Mark DAmbrogi says his department ispleased with the PCWA fire hydrant program.

    Its good to have the people who know the water businessworking alongside the people who know the fire business, he

    said. We appreciate the good working relationship we havewith PCWA.

    Hundreds of firehydrants in theAuburn area are partof the PCWA firesuppression network.

    Stay intouch

    PCWA Update is thebimonthly newsletter producedby the Placer County WaterAgency. Stay up to speed on localwater developments by watching

    for it in your billing statements,or online at www.pcwa.net.

    PCWA Canal Operator ZackHolm patrols theBoardman Canal, one ofmany the water agencyoperates to move water

    through Placer County.Left, Holm adjusts anoutlet valve at MammothReservoir.

    m?water to80 corridor,

    d Rocklin tocoln.tle, Lincoln,le, plus wided water and

    l area of 46southwest ofwater via

    ille.ista, including

    waterthree wells is

    imilick,slley.r commercialcer County.

    rtry

    imals, home, vineyards

    also are

    r users.stomers andnal systemdent waterommunity

    gcts

    of the wateractive

    ing, called

    oms.appliedity spray. Itne time,eal.

    pecialistsseepage and

    mage toyears, PCWAmillionovements.about 4.5

    10 FIRE & WATER 2010 Supplement to Gold Country Media

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    10 FIRE & WATER 2010 Supplement to Gold Country Media

    Calstar plays important emergency-response roleWhat is Calstar?Calstar stands for Cali-

    fornia Shock Trauma AirRescue. It is the largest

    non-profit air ambulanceprovider on the WestCoast.

    Including its headquar-ters atMcClel-lan AirForceBase inSacra-mento,Calstarhas 11

    basesandserves a vast region fromSanta Barbara to Ukiah toLake Tahoe. Each base isdesignated by number.Auburn is Calstar 3, Jack-son is Calstar 10 and thebase in Lake Tahoe is Cal-star 6.

    What role does Calstarplay in emergency/disas-

    ter relief?Calstar plays a vital role

    in the communities itserves. Most physiciansbelieve in the concept ofthe golden hour.

    That concept sub-scribes to the thoughtthat if a critically injuredor ill patient can get to atrauma center within 60minutes, their chances ofsurvival, or a much better

    outcome, are dramatical-ly enhanced. Also, ournurses with theiradvanced training aretreating patients at thescene and on the way tothe trauma center. Webring an emergency roomto a scene, said Tom Pan-dola, Calstars SierraNevada regional director.

    When does Calstar getcalled in?

    Calstar gets called by

    local EMS personnel whenever there appearsto be a serious accident.

    Many times the flightcrew turns back beforearriving on scene.

    We dont want to wasteany time in getting to ascene, so we immediatelytake off when a call comesin, Pandola said. Fre-quently, it turns out thatthe accident was not thatserious so we return tobase.

    Most patients pickedup in the Auburn area aretransported to either Sut-

    ter Roseville or the UCDavis Medical Center inSacramento.

    How long has theAuburn Calstar base beenopen? How many calls hasAuburn Calstar respondedto during that time?

    The base in Auburn hasbeen in operation for 15 years. During that time,6,000 flights have beentaken.

    The entire Calstar oper-ation is now in its 26thyear of operation.

    It has transported more

    than 45,000 patients with-out a single injury to apatient or crew member.

    How much of the regiondoes the Auburn Calstarcover?

    Flight crews typicallycover an area between 40-50 miles from its base.

    However, a flight crewcan go much farther ifthere is a multi-car acci-dent or other incident.In case of an accident with multiple injuries,Calstar 3 can get rapidbackup assistance from

    Calstar 10, Calstar 6 andeven from Sacramento.On many occasions mul-

    tiple Calstar helicoptershave been utilized foraccidents with multipleserious injuries.

    How much does Calstarcost?

    Being transported by aCalstar flight crew can becostly. However, as anon-profit organizationCalstar is able to offermemberships to the gen-eral public. For $40 a year, an individual will

    never have to pay for atransport. If there is anyportion of the bill not

    paid by the individualsinsurance provider, Cal-star will absorb the bal-ance. If the individual hasno insurance and is a Cal-star member he or shewill never see a bill.

    An entire immediatefamily can become Cal-star members for $45 peryear.

    For additional information, call

    1-888-207-LIFE or (916) 421-

    4911.

    COURTESY GOLD COUNTRY NEWS SERVICE

    Calstar is the largest non-profit air ambulance provider on the West Coast.

    TomPandola

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    12 FIRE & WATER 2010 Supplement to Gold Country Media

    Editors Note: An earlier versionof this story ran in the JournalJune 13, 2010.BRIDGET JONES

    GOLD COUNTRY NEWS SERVICE

    Auburn residents are takingcontrol of a permanent shadedfuel break in the American Riv-er Canyon.

    In May, Project Canyon Safebegan in the Robie Point area ofthe canyon. Since then workgroups from Borland Avenue,

    PortlandAvenue, Mari-

    na Avenue,Riverview Dri-ve, the AeoliaHeightsneighbor-hood, Monte-ceilo neigh-borhood andCreekside

    Place neighborhood haveeither begun planning for orhave conducted work projectsin the canyon or along their

    streets.In the most recent workday

    in Aeolia Heights, a larger thanexpected number of volunteerscame to help, said CouncilmanKevin Hanley, chairman of theGreater Auburn Area Fire SafeCouncil.

    My hope was that 15 peoplewould show up, instead 37 did,Hanley said.

    Fire Chief Mark DAmbrogisaid he thinks the catastrophic

    fire that claimed 63 homes inNorth Auburn last August was adefinite learning experience forresidents in the area.

    DAmbrogi said if a fire con-sumed the canyon, the devasta-tion would be ten-fold what itwas in North Auburn becauseof the large amount of flamma-ble material.

    Because of this, the GreaterAuburn Area Fire Safe Councildecided in June to offer resi-

    dents a chance to get involvedin grassroots projects to main-

    tain the fuel break. The counciland the Auburn Fire Depart-ment divided the propertyalong the canyon into 10 neigh-borhoods and have been hold-ing meetings with neighborsinterested in their own ProjectCanyon Safe workdays.

    DAmbrogi said more recentprojects are seeing double the

    number of volunteers the orig-inal one did.

    Its just awesome to see thecommunity step up to the plateand do what needs to be done,he said. I think people reallyare grasping a hold of the risk we have to our community.

    Bottom line is, we have to helpourselves.

    Hanley said the meetingsallow the council and firedepartment to educate resi-dents about the history of thefuel break and the need tomaintain it, give them a chanceto fill out the application to hosta project similar to Project

    Canyon Safe on personal prop-erty and federal property in the

    canyon and allow the council totalk about how it might be ableto help homeowners financial-ly.

    Hanley said as each neigh-borhood project is completedthe council is asking for a com-mitment from those neighbor-

    hoods to keep the shaded fuelbreak maintained.

    Fuel break projects lower risk of fire

    FILE/BEN FURTADO GOLD COUNTRY NEWS SERVICE

    Becky Morris piles tree limbs and other rubbish on her property off Robie Drive. Morris and her neighbor worked together tomaintain defensible space on the property.

    Becky Morris

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    DAmbrogi said thereare 2,642 parcels, orproperties, within thevery high and high fireseverity zone in the areaof the canyon.

    DAmbrogi said a fireconsuming the AmericanRiver Canyon area wouldcause damages of almost$5 million.

    A widespread firethroughout the city of Auburn would causedamages of $1.8 billion,DAmbrogi said.

    According to Hanley,residents have raisedabout $18,000 for ProjectCanyon Safe.

    The money goes toward

    clearing and chipping. Ananonymous donor haspledged to match thatamount dollar-for-dollarup to $75,000. In addition,$15,000 in contributionshave been made to the

    project, mostly comingfrom local chipping com-panies donating time andcrews.

    Residents have cleared68 acres in the canyon,creating 1/3 of the neces-sary fuel break.

    Residents have alsocleared 43 acres in thecitys interior. Volunteers

    have worked about 950hours so far, Hanley said.Hanley said he hopes to

    have half of the canyoncleared by the end ofsummer, and the otherhalf cleared by the end of

    next summer.The original Project

    Canyon Safe was a volun-teer effort in combination with community mem-bers, the fire safe council,Auburn Fire Department,the California Conserva-tion Corps and othercompanies.

    The shaded fuel break

    effort took place on May22 and successfullycleared 9 acres in theRobie Point area of thecanyon.

    DAmbrogi said theestimated cost per acre

    during the Robie Pointproject was $2,658, andthis is the ballparkamount neighbors shouldexpect to pay in their ownprojects. However, theamount per acre canchange based on how

    much and what kind ofgrowth exists in the area. Auburn resident Steve

    Cavolt, who lives on theAmerican River Canyon,said he agrees with theneed for an ongoing

    shaded fuel break mainte-nance program.

    There is always goingto be fire danger, its howprepared you are for it(that matters), Cavoltsaid. I think the grass-roots idea that Kevin Han-

    ley has come up with isgreat. We cant depend ongovernment to take careof everything for us. Itsgot to be a partnershipagreement with thehomeowners and the city,

    and people have to takeresponsibility for theirown property.

    Rex Maynard, who liveson Robie Drive, said he is willing to participate inany future clearing proj-ects.

    Ill be there to help onit, Maynard said.

    I think its a good ideasince the governmentcant take care of it, May-nard added. Im morethan willing to come outthere and help maintainit. Im living right here inthe path of the fire, so I tryto keep my propertycleaned up.

    DAmbrogi said he is

    proud of the efforts ofcommunity volunteers.Its boots to the ground

    that are working, he said.

    Reach Bridget Jones at bridget

    [email protected]

    HOW TO HOST A PROJECT CANYON SAFEWORKDAYThose neighborhoods interested in hosting projectsto maintain the shaded fuel break in their area ofthe canyon can e-mail Kevin Hanley [email protected] or call the Auburn Fire Depart-ment at (530) 823-4211, ext. 2. Those living in thecity, but not along the canyon, should contact the

    fire department.

    We cant depend on government to take

    care of everything for us. Its got to be a

    partnership agreement with the homeowners

    and the city, and people have to take

    responsibility for their own property.Steve Cavolt, Auburn resident

    14 FIRE & WATER 2010 Supplement to Gold Country Media

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    FOR GOLD COUNTRY NEWS SERVICE

    Although it has been arelatively quiet seasonthus far, that can alwayschange and fire person-nel want the public to beprepared.

    During the NationalFire Protection Associa-tions Fire Prevention Week, which occurs this year Oct. 3-9, Auburn-area fire departments willbe doing their best toeducate the public and its youngest members on

    how to stay safe during afire and offering ways toprevent one from occur-ring in the first place.

    The Placer Hills FireDepartment and theAuburn Fire Department

    will offer tours of their fire

    stations for elementaryand preschool students.Representatives from thedepartments also plan tovisit area schools.

    Every year we meet with different classes,

    sometimes we go there

    other times they comehere to the station, saidChief Ian Gow of the Plac-er Hills Fire Department.We do a fire safetydemonstration and lec-tures that are age appro-

    priate.The Fire Prevention

    Week commemorates theGreat Chicago Fire.

    President CalvinCoolidge proclaimed thefirst National Fire Preven-tion Week on Oct. 4-10,1925.

    Residential structurefires claim the lives ofmore than 2,500 eachyear in the United States with a financial loss ofmore than $8 million.

    Education is key to pre-vention, Gow said.

    Its important for anumber of reasons. Weteach the kids not to beafraid of firefighters, who,when in full gear, can lookfrightening, Gow said.We teach them the con-

    cepts of fire safety, likedrop and roll, evacuatingtheir house and a keyissue: talking to their par-ents about fire safety.

    Bob Roth, fire preven-tion officer for the PenrynFire Department, hasbeen working diligently tofill 6,000 square feet ofspace at the AuburnHome Show with fire pre-vention businesses, edu-cational materials andvendors.

    We will have fire pro-tection and safety compa-

    nies out that weekend(Oct. 1-3), providing pub-lic education for fire safe-ty for both interior andexterior home protec-tion, Roth said.

    He said the No. 1 must-

    have for fire safety in ahome is a smoke detector.

    A working smokedetector can save lives,Roth said, That and resi-dential sprinklers, whichare more affordable thanyoud think. Soon they willbe required in all new-build construction.

    The youngest of familymembers will have theopportunity to learn howto get out of a home in theevent of a fire.

    Roth said the Safe Kidstrailer will be at the Home

    Show.They fill the trailer with simulated smokeand teach the kids how tostay low to the groundand crawl to safety, hesaid.

    Local agencies gear up for Fire Prevention Week

    COURTESY GOLD COUNTRY NEWS SERVICE

    Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With is thetheme of this years Fire Prevention Week.

    Supplement to Gold Country Media FIRE & WATER 2010 15

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    It is difficult to thinkabout recovery when thestructure youve calledhome and everything youown is destroyed. Whenthere are more questionsthan answers, your lastthought is what life will bea year from now.

    Yet, in the year sincetragedy struck our town with the 49 Fire, I seerecovery. I watched ourcommunity rally to helpits fellow citizens withnumerous fundraisers forthe victims. Through the

    outpouring of assistanceprovided to the victimswe showed that they arenot alone.

    As a longtime agent andresident of this communi-ty, Ive seen those whocan best recover from thistype of tragedy are thosewho prepared. Part of thispreparation is throughthe purchase of insur-ance. A thorough insur-

    ance policy provides cus-

    tomers with a solid foun-dation on which torebuild their lives, yet ittakes thought and hon-esty.

    For example, theamount of insuranceneeded is based on

    rebuilding costs, not thereal estate value. There-fore, working with theinsurer or an independ-ent appraiser to deter-mine these replacementcosts is vital to ensurethere is sufficient cover-age. For total peace ofmind after a disaster, itsrecommended to insurefor 100 percent of replace-ment costs.

    An insurance policy

    also provides for thereplacement of the con-tents of the home. Ialways recommend to mycustomers to make ahome inventory, whichcan make the process ofreplacing contents somuch easier for the cus-tomer and the insurer. Ahome inventory caneither be done by listingpossessions room byroom in a document, pic-tures or video stored off-site. A renters policy cov-ers mostly contents.

    Unfortunately, manyrenters do not think tobuy a policy even thoughits reasonably priced.

    Finally, insurance pro-vides for Additional LivingExpenses.

    The last thing a victim wants after the destruc-tion of their home is to worry about where they will sleep that night.Insurance helps put vic-

    tims back on their feet so

    that they can begin theprocess of recovery.

    Insurers also advise tak-ing measures to protectyour home against wild-fire. The Institute for Busi-ness and Home Safetyadvises creating defensi-ble space through smartlandscaping. This meansclearing brush around thehome, maintaining spacebetween trees, removingdiseased or dead trees,clearing your gutters andeaves, etc. Also considerusing fire-resistant mate-

    rials for roofs, boxing ineaves, enclosing theunderside of decks anddouble-paned windows.

    As our community real-ized a year ago, recovery isa process and the best ways to move throughthat process is throughthought, preparation andsupport.

    Ralph Smith is a State Farm

    agent based in Auburn.

    Insurance part of being prepared

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    SmithStateFarm

    Wondering how tosave water? Considerthese tips fromwww.saveourh20.org.

    1. Fix those drips Adripping faucet canwaste 20 gallons of watera day, while a leaking toi-let can waste 90,000 gal-lons in a month.

    2. Shorten that shower Cut five minutes off your shower time andsave up to 25 gallons aday

    3. Slow the flow Inexpensive faucet aera-

    tors can save gallons of water per person everyday.

    4. Turn off the tap When brushing yourteeth or shaving, turn offthe tap and save eightgallons a day.

    5. Go low-flow Replace your old showerhead with a water effi-cient model and cut yourwater use by 20 percent

    or more every time you

    shower.6. Update those appli-

    ances When its time toupdate your appliances,go for a front-loadingwashing machine and a water-efficient dish-washer. Youll save bothwater and energy.

    7. Replace that water-guzzling toilet If possi-ble, replace your old toi-let with a modern, water-efficient one and useabout half the water perflush.

    8. Sweep up your sav-

    ings Instead of hosing your driveway or side-walk, use a broom.

    9. Think beyond thelawn Choose plantsappropriate to your cli-mate when you land-scape. Theyll needmuch less water.

    10. Irrigate like a pro Your lawn probablyneeds less water thanyou think. And your side-

    walk doesnt need any.

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