Thankful to have the firefighters, but we must do our part as well

Anyone who traveled the Highway 89 corridor through Indian Valley over the Fourth of July weekend saw the familiar green of Forest Service vehicles flanking the roadway. A trio of fires broke out in quick succession Friday, June 30 — in Crescent Mills, Genesee and off of Arlington Road — and the Forest Service responded immediately, assisted by local volunteer firefighters and area residents.

The scenario repeated itself again Tuesday, July 4, with a fire near Oakland Camp in Quincy. A quick response from the Forest Service prevented the fire’s spread, as California Highway Patrol and Sheriff’s Office personnel stood by ready to evacuate residents.

Living in Plumas County means living with fire danger and we never know which fire is going to be quickly extinguished and which could explode into something major threatening lives and property. Thankfully the trio of Indian Valley fires and the one near Oakland Camp were dealt with swiftly.

Seeing that quick and effective response over the holiday weekend was comforting and we should all be grateful to have such a fire-fighting presence in our midst.

But the fires also serve as a reminder that while we have incredible fire-fighting professionals and exceptionally well trained volunteers in our midst, we need to do our part to help them. There are numerous steps that a homeowner can take to make a home easier to protect in a fire. Plumas County’s fire prevention specialist, Sue McCourt, wrote an excellent Where I Stand column published on the facing page, that explains why it is important to protect our homes from the threat of fire and simple steps that we can take. It is definitely worth a read. Although you may have heard this information before, it never hurts to be reminded, nor to realize that now is the time to do something about it.

For more information on preparing your home for wildfire, visit readyforwildfire.org.

For local information, resources available for homeowners in Plumas County and information on how your community can be designated Firewise, visit Plumas County Firesafe Council’s website at plumasfiresafe.org.

Grateful to local law enforcement as well

While the firefighters were battling blazes, local law enforcement — both the Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol — worked alongside them, and were a visible presence throughout the county over the long four-day weekend, making sure that our roadways and citizens remained safe. Not only did both entities perform their normal duties, but they provided traffic control and participated in the events such as riding in the local parades. It’s nice to have these entities not only protect us, but be such an integral part of the community.