Fire season drags on

 

Now is the time to be prepared and vigilant

Last winter’s floods and heavy snows already seem like a distant memory as plumes of smoke loom instead of storm clouds. Fire season is far from over and already fires have dotted this county. This past weekend, it was Quincy’s turn to watch as smoke hovered above the town and planes and helicopters traversed the sky.

Just a couple of weeks ago, we devoted this editorial space to complimenting the quick response of the U.S. Forest Service in responding to a trio of fires in Indian Valley. The quick and intensive response ended that threat. Since that time there have been a number of starts that were also quickly dispatched and stopped before they could grow into something larger.

On Saturday, the Forest Service again sprang into action, tackling a series of five starts that were dubbed the Minerva Fire. Within hours three of the fires merged. The flames moved ever closer to the edge of town and units were put in place for structure protection; residents were told to be prepared to evacuate.

The events of the past month serve as a reminder that fire is an ever present threat and we need to be prepared — not only to make our homes and yards as fire resistant as possible as we addressed in that last editorial — but to be prepared to leave on a moment’s notice. Are you ready? What would you put in your vehicle to drive away to safety? Those are the decisions that many Quincy residents had to make over the weekend.

Each year we publish an insert for the community titled “Living with Fire.” It is done in conjunction with the Plumas County Board of Supervisors, the Plumas County Office of Emergency Services, the Forest Service, CalFire, the Plumas County Fire Safe Council and other local agencies. It is full of information that every resident should have. We hope that none of our communities are ever forced to evacuate, but we should be ready for that possibility. It’s too late once the evacuation order is sounded.

The publication contains critical information about preparing for an evacuation, including a list of what you should take with you and how you should leave your home so that firefighters might best be able to protect it. This year “Living with Fire” published April 26, but the information is all available online at plumasfiresafe.org. We encourage you to read it and take the necessary steps now to be prepared.

We also encourage you to be vigilant. There were multiple fire starts this past weekend and Sheriff Greg Hagwood is asking the public to be hyper vigilant and report any suspicious activity. It is becoming increasingly clear that there appears to be an individual/individuals responsible for these fires.

While we hope this is the last editorial to be written this summer regarding fire; that’s doubtful. Fire season has only just begun.