PARKS & PARTNERS
One Less Spark – One Less Wildfire
a statewide campaign
When meterologists began predicting a severe fire season for California in 2013, the Interagency Fire Prevention Committee of the California Wildfire Coordinating Group launched the “One Less Spark-One Less Wildfire” campaign. The goal of the campaign is to educate people throughout the state about how to prevent wildfires that are accidentally caused by sparks from sources around the home and vehicles, as well as industrial sources.
Recent statistics show that the most likely source of accidental wildland fires is equipment and vehicles. Lawn mowers, weedeaters, chain saws, grinders, welders, tractors, and other vehicles can all spark a wildland fire, so this new campaign is aimed at the people who use these devices, and provides them with tips for how to use them safely. Accidental fires can cause enormous damage and they can be prevented.
Here are a few recent fires that could have been prevented in California:
The Bugeia Lane fire in Novato (Marin County) was started by teenagers mowing a lawn. Metal blades hitting rocks can create a spark.
The Morgan Fire on Mount Diablo in Contra Costa County was started by target shooting. Bullets hitting rocks can create a spark.
Size: 3,111 acres – Cost: $5 million
The Rim Fire near Groveland was started by an illegal campfire. Campfires are not allowed when fire danger is high because they can throw sparks into dry vegetation.
Size to date: 256,895 acres – Cost to date: $118 million
TOP BANNER PHOTO: The One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire campaign included billboards, posters, road signs, workshops and public service announcements throughout the state of California during the summer of 2013.
What about Lightning?
Lighting also creates a lot of sparks, but in this case, “One Less Spark” may not mean “One Less Wildfire”. A lighting storm usually involves many sparks at once, but not all of them ignite a fire. For example, in Northern California during a 24-hour period on August 21-22, 2013, there were 4,400 lightning strikes recorded, followed by 45 new fires detected.
The fire report on August 23, 2013 was as follows:
- CAL FIRE Siskiyou Unit – 5 new fires, largest is less than an 1 acre
- CAL FIRE Lassen-Modoc-Plumas Unit – 6 new fires, largest is less than 1 acre
- Lassen National Forest – 2 new fires, largest is less than an 1 acre
- Klamath National Forest – 9 new fires, largest is 2-3 acres
- Tahoe National Forest – 1 new fire, largest is less than an 1 acre, fire is contained
- Tahoe Management Unit – 4 new fires, largest is less than an 1 acre, all fires contained
- Modoc National Forest – 8 new fires, largest fire is the Whitmore Fire 40 acres – 70% contained
- Six Rivers National Forest – 2 new fires, Roger Fire 4-5 acres, Lemonade Fire 2 acres
- Plumas National Forest – 4 new fires, largest is less than an 1 acre
- Shasta-Trinity National Forest – 1 new fire, fire is less than an 1 acre
- BLM, Northern California District – 3 new fires, largest is less than an 1 acre
(source: Weather Bug by Earthworks)
A related report cited 14,000 lightning strikes in the San Francisco Bay Area on August 19, 2013.
Check out the photos!
(source: SKYE by AOL, inc.)
Bay Area Headlines
Mt. Diablo Fire: Officials Say Target Shooting Sparked 3,000-acre Blaze
(Contra Costa Times, September 13, 2013)
Nearly 40 Percent of Rim Fire Land a Moonscape
(Press Democrat / AP, September 19, 2013)
Sausalito to Thin Preserve to Curb Fire Danger, Help Native Plants
(Marin Independent Journal, September 19, 2013)
$20K Reward Offered to Find CA Wildfires Arsonist
(San Francisco Chronicle / AP, September 19, 2013)
OCTOBER 10 – OAKLAND WILDFIRE PREVENTION CONFERENCE: “Partnerships – Everyone’s a Player” – sponsored by Farmers’ Insurance Group, 9:00 to 3:00 pm, Joaquin Miller Community Center. No cost to register, but space is limited, so sign up soon!