San Jose: : Santa Clara County Agencies Urge Residents to Prepare
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Erica Ray, Public Information Manager, San José Fire Department
408-398-9228; sjfdpio@sanjoseca.gov

Luisa Rapport, Information Specialist, Santa Clara County Fire Department
408-335-9485

Santa Clara County Agencies Urge Residents to Prepare
Now is the time to prepare for wildfire with READY, SET, GO

SAN JOSE, Calif. (May 12, 2021) - Fire season has arrived in Santa Clara County, a designation that has seemingly come earlier and stays longer with each year in California. With Red Flag Warnings persisting into Tuesday this week, local fire agencies began seasonal increases in staffing and resources for vegetation fires and on days where fire danger is elevated.

Although wildfires have long been a part of the California landscape, severe drought conditions and a changing climate have caused the dry seasons to become much longer and more severe. Drought-stressed vegetation has had little to no opportunity to recover during the winter months and the risk of wildfires this year is high.

Recognizing the need for extensive and coordinated pre-fire management and preparedness efforts, agencies including Santa Clara County Fire Department, CAL FIRE Santa Clara Unit, San José Fire Department, Palo Alto Fire Department, Milpitas Fire Department, the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council, Santa Clara County Parks, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Santa Clara Valley Water District (Valley Water) have partnered to urge residents to do their part to prepare for wildfires. "Whether it is the safety of our residents, the preservation of our open spaces or protection against unhealthy air quality, our agencies have a common goal to prevent and plan for wildfires - but we can't do it alone," said Brian Glass, Acting Fire Chief of Santa Clara County Fire Department. "Every community in California is vulnerable to wildfire. As we bolster our staffing and wildfire capabilities, we urge all citizens to also be ready, be prepared and be engaged," added CAL FIRE Santa Clara Unit Chief Jake Hess.

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Through the READY, SET, GO wildfire preparedness program, residents can and should take the steps to prepare their own home and family for wildfire. The READY, SET, GO program is a nationally recognized program that outlines preparedness steps like creating defensible space and hardening your home to make a buffer around your property and eliminate opportunities for embers to enter spaces in and around your home. The program also provides information on preparing emergency supplies, registering to receive emergency alerts and planning for an evacuation.

Fire Chief Robert Sapien, Jr. from the San José Fire Department issued a warning against the use of fireworks as we approach the Fourth of July holiday. "The 2020 wildfire season showed us just how vulnerable many parts of Santa Clara County are to the impacts of wildfire. 2021 has brought extreme drought conditions and we are already seeing high fire activity throughout the County. With significantly dryer conditions than in years past, the threat of wildfires caused by illegal fireworks cannot be overlooked by residents - we need everyone to help keep our homes and community safe from wildfire by committing to stop the use of illegal fireworks."

Wildfires do not recognize the boundaries of cities, towns, neighborhoods or property lines. With many residents in wildland urban interface areas throughout the County, it's most beneficial for communities and neighborhoods to work together in their preparedness efforts. Agencies like the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council are available to provide programs and support for groups. "Firewise communities, residential participation in our county wide chipping program and preparedness workshops help residents reduce flammable vegetation and hazards while building neighborhood communication and collaboration for wildfire readiness," said Eugenia Rendler, Managing Director of the Council.

For more information on the program and services noted above, please visit the following resource pages:

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Santa Clara County Fire Department READY, SET, GO wildfire preparedness program:
www.sccfd.org/rsg

San José Fire Department:
www.sjfd.org

CAL FIRE Ready for Wildfire:
www.Readyforwildfire.org

Santa Clara County FireSafe Council:
www.sccfiresafe.org

Bay Area Air Quality Management District Wildfire Program:
www.baaqmd.gov

Santa Clara Valley Water District:
www.valleywater.org

About the City of San José
With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States and is Northern California's largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José's transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City's anticipated growth through the year 2040.

About San José Fire Department
The San José Fire Department (SJFD) is a full-service, all-hazard metropolitan fire department that provides service to and protects a population of over 1 million residents within the approximately 180 square miles of the nation's tenth largest city. The protection area includes residential, commercial, high-rise, industrial, seven major hospitals (including three trauma centers and seven emergency departments, the SAP Center (home to the NHL's San José Sharks), the Earthquakes Stadium (home of the MSL's San José Earthquakes), San José State University, Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport, three super-regional malls, the United State Patent and Trademark Office and wildland-urban interface areas. Learn more about SJFD at www.sjfd.org.


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