Cal­i­for­nia Fire Safe Coun­cil: Re­build­ing Af­ter The Fires

Escalon Times - - NEWS -

Cal­i­for­nia wild­fires in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber 2017 burned more than 245,000 acres and de­stroyed and dam­aged more than 8,700 homes, busi­nesses and prop­er­ties.

“To this date, it is recorded as the most dev­as­tat­ing ever in the state. The at­ten­tion turns now to the res­i­dents who lost or suf­fered dam­age to their prop­erty,” said Jerry Davies, Chair of the Cal­i­for­nia Fire Safe Coun­cil.

Ac­cord­ing to Janet Ruiz, Cal­i­for­nia Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the In­sur­ance In­for­ma­tion In­sti­tute (III), the de­bris re­moval in hard­est hit Santa Rosa and other ar­eas has be­gun. Gover­nor Jerry Brown has au­tho­rized the U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (EPA) to re­move vis­i­ble haz­ardous de­bris from wild­fire-burned homes, such as bat­ter­ies, flammable liq­uids, as­bestos sid­ing, paint, and pipe in­su­la­tion. Re­build­ing will prob­a­bly be­gin in the spring of 2018 and take sev­eral years.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on re­duc­ing wild­fire dam­age to homes and es­pe­cially roofs, go to www.IBHS.Org.

“In­sur­ance com­pa­nies are now work­ing with their pol­i­cy­hold­ers in all of the ar­eas dev­as­tated by the fires,” Ruiz said. “We are urg­ing all who have losses to work closely with their in­sur­ance com­pa­nies and agents to help with the claims process.”

“As re­build­ing be­gins and oth­ers pro­ceed with up­grades to make their homes and busi­nesses safer, we urge the use of an em­ber-re­sis­tant de­sign with proven, non­com­bustible or fire-re­sis­tant ma­te­ri­als,” said Steve Quar­les, chief sci­en­tist at the In­sur­ance In­sti­tute for Busi­ness & Home Safety.

“In­stall the ma­te­ri­als with an eye to­ward main­tain­ing an ef­fec­tive man­dated 100 foot de­fen­si­ble space on the prop­erty,” he said. “A best prac­tice is a five­foot non­com­bustible zone around the house, us­ing, for ex­am­ple, rock mulch, a dec­o­ra­tive ground cover made of nat­u­ral, non­com­bustible stone vs. shred­ded or chipped wood mulch ma­te­rial.”

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