There is no greater danger or risk facing Three Rivers than wildfire. Fire in the foothills and the Kaweah canyon is inevitable. It’s not if a fire will start but when.
“When the next fire occurs, ask yourself, am I prepared? Have I been proactive in creating defensible space? Are my house and outbuildings protected and will they survive an approaching fire? Does my family have an evacuation plan in place for people, pets, and livestock?
If you are interested in any of these questions — and you should be because your life and the lives of others might depend on whether your part of the world is fire safe — then plan on attending the informational Three Rivers Fire Safe Council meeting.
The meeting is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 3, at 2 p.m., in the fellowship hall at Community Presbyterian Church.
The meeting will be chaired by Stephen Gort, executive director of the California Fire Safe Council. Gort came to the CFSC from Napa County where he lives and was president of the Napa Communities Firewise Foundation.
Napa Firewise operates under a volunteer board with fire professionals and community members. Gort helped Napa Firewise become a 501(c)(3) organization, which enabled the foundation to apply for and administer grants. Establishing a similar Fire Safe Council organization is what
Gort and Elizabeth LaMar have in mind for communities like Three Rivers.
LaMar, who lives in Three Rivers, is one of two grant specialists working out of the Ontario office of the California Fire Safe Council. She is adept at securing grant funding having previously worked for youth development projects and the Sequoia Parks Conservancy.
It’s going to take time and funding to make this program work and that’s where LaMar goes to work. There are grants available including one program from State Farm Insurance.
But just as important as the funding, it’s going to take some Three Rivers volunteers, at least one from each neighborhood and outlying area to coordinate the council’s efforts.
It’s imperative that fire prevention and safety become a strategic priority in Three Rivers. It’s a matter of life and death.
For information on the meeting or the California Fire Safe Council, call Elizabeth LaMar, (559) 288-2603.