Preparing for Wildfire Season

Living in Milpitas, like most bay area cities, we have had the luxury of not necessarily concerning ourselves with an abundance of caution for wildfires – with the exception of our hillside community. However, if Napa/Santa Rosa taught us anything, we learned that wildfires, with the right combination of wind, can wipe out entire neighborhoods, killing unaware residents in a matter of minutes, and no community is immune to this type of tragedy.

CAL FIRE Santa Clara Unit Bans All Burning
Morgan Hill – As of Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) Santa Clara Unit has banned all outdoor burning due to extreme fire conditions.

Fire in Milpitas Hills June 22, 2018

Man! That was a close one! Fire in Milpitas Hills June 22, 2018

Here are a few tips to keep your home and neighborhood safe well ahead of time:

  1. Remove flammable items, such as firewood piles, portable propane tanks at least 30 feet away from structures.
  2. Discard any dry or dead vegetation within 100 feet of your homes. IF you see a home with overgrown weeds., or other dead vegetation, you can call the Office of the Fire Marshal to report the problem, 408-586-3365.
  3. Ensure everyone in your family knows where to meet in a disaster (such as a neighbors yard or driveway). And practice driving alternate evacuations routes so you are familiar with how to get our of your neighborhood or job in an emergency.
  4. Review your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy to ensure you have adequate coverage for your property and personal belongings.

Are You Prepared

Pre-Evacuation Preparation Steps
When an evacuation is anticipated, follow these checklists (if time allows) to give your home the best chance of surviving a wildfire. Listed below for your convenience.

Inside Preparation for Pre-Evacuation

  • Shut all windows and doors, leaving them unlocked.
  • Remove flammable window shades, curtains and close metal shutters.
  • Remove lightweight curtains.
  • Move flammable furniture to the center of the room, away from windows and doors.
  • Shut off gas at the meter; turn off pilot lights.
  • Leave your lights on so firefighters can see your house under smoky conditions.
  • Shut off the air conditioning.

Outside Preparation for Pre-Evacuation

  • Gather up flammable items from the exterior of the house and bring them inside (patio furniture, children’s toys, door mats, trash cans, etc.) or place them in your pool.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures.
  • Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters. Fill water buckets and place them around the house.
  • Don’t leave sprinklers on or water running, they can affect critical water pressure.
  • Leave exterior lights on so your home is visible to firefighters in the smoke or darkness of night.
  • Put your Emergency Supply Kit in your vehicle.
  • Back your car into the driveway with vehicle loaded and all doors and windows closed. Carry your car keys with you.
  • Have a ladder available and place it at the corner of the house for firefighters to quickly access your roof.
  • Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals.
  • Patrol your property and monitor the fire situation. Don’t wait for an evacuation order if you feel threatened.
  • Check on neighbors and make sure they are preparing to leave.

Preparation for Animals

  • Locate your pets and keep them nearby.
  • Have carriers ready and an ample supply of food and water for pets ready to toss in the car.
  • Prepare farm animals for transport and think about moving them to a safe location early. Have a plan!

For more information on Fire Prevention, contact the Milpitas Fire Prevention Department at 408-586-3365.

How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation
If your household is under voluntary or potential evacuations, begin to prepare your home and get ready to leave. If mandatory evacuations are ordered, it’s important to leave as fast as possible.

A Wildfire is Coming. Are You Ready to Go?
Download the Wildfire is Coming, Are You Ready to Go! brochure to get your home ready for wildfire.

CALFire Twitter Timeline

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