Fire threat rises with high winds in Southern California
As you probably know, the Thomas Fire is still burning in Ventura County. The UCCE Ventura and UCCE Santa Barbara offices and Hansen Research & Extension Center are still closed today due to power outages and poor air quality. Some staff members are working offsite.
I've heard that many of our colleagues in Ventura County evacuated and some have returned to their homes. Unfortunately I also heard that two ANR members and several Master Gardener volunteers have lost their homes in the fire. ANR leadership is exploring ways we can help.
There are also three wildfires actively burning in Los Angeles County, one has caused the suspension of classes today at UCLA, but we have not yet heard of any impact to ANR offices or colleagues.
ANR colleagues in southern California should be aware that high winds are forecast for Wednesday night and Thursday, resulting in an extreme fire threat level in parts of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego Counties. See the Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index at http://sawti.fs.fed.us. Make sure that your emergency preparedness kit is in order and closely monitor fire conditions. Go over your evacuation plan and meeting points with your family. Be prepared to move livestock, pets or family members with special needs.
If you haven't already, I encourage you to sign up for emergency alerts for your home and work locations. Communities use different systems for text, phone or e-mail alerts, such as Nixle, Everbridge, WarnMe, etc. The best way to find the alert service used in your area is to perform an internet search for “emergency alerts <insert your community>.” Most services will let you enter multiple locations to track, such as your home, work, school, etc.
Risk & Safety Services has assembled fire prevention and recovery resources at http://safety.ucanr.edu/Programs/emergency/EmrgResources that you may find helpful. The Nationwide Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) also has compiled resources from various state Cooperative Extension programs: https://eden.lsu.edu/educate/resources (Search for “wildfire”).
Director, Risk & Safety Services
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