FPA Blog

Forestville News & Events, July 2019

Your inspection report is coming soon.

Posted August 1, 2019
by Lucy Hardcastle

Did you get your notice yet? Your Vegetation Management Inspection Report? Mine said ‘needs improvement.’ With a 100’ dead Bay in my canyon, I sort of already knew that. Bays are like torches in a fire. Those dead branches makes perfect “ladder” fuel to set the whole neighborhood ablaze. Lacking the physical power or proper tools to do it myself, you know what that means. Money.

But not all of us can handle an unexpected expense at the snap of a finger. We have to save up. The Firemen understand that and can give us more time if they see we are trying. So we cleaned up the roof, gutter and deck then moved our dead weed pile elsewhere.

The firemen in charge of the inspections want to see that we are trying, not blowing them off. So check out your Inspection Report. Realize when each of us takes responsibility for our own “defensible space,” and then connect with our neighbors to create a “defensible neighborhood” we can save ourselves a lot of grief and hassle.

Just witness what our friends and relatives went through the last two years. My recent job was a Crisis Counselor for those people. Believe me, let’s save ourselves the trouble they went through. Together it’s possible to make our neighborhoods safer. A lot safer. And together is starting to happen with the Map Your Neighborhood program being rolled out in several of our neighborhoods with the help of our Firemen.

Now if you weren’t at the Town Hall on Emergency Preparedness awhile back, you might not even know what you’re missing. “Map Your Neighborhood” groups are where the Fire Department meets with you and your neighbors. They created these really cool maps you can use to see where the exits are, where streets lead. You can call them at 887-2212 and ask for the Emergency Preparedness Team.

They can let you know when and where your street is meeting and will be the ones to show up, answer questions, talk about issues. They have done 4 already and more are on the books.

Some groups, like the one I went to on Champs de Elysees, had Sebastopol’s Skip Jerrills come and talk about the “Map Your Neighborhood” tool being used across the area. You’ll walk away not only knowing more of what you need to do in an emergency, but what tools are available like how to sign up for Nixel or SoCo Alert. Bonus is you also get to meet neighbors you don’t know yet. The one’s I met were fascinating.

The main takeaway was how important making your own “defensible space” really is. The most dangerous fuel is the bits of debris, dead leaves and twigs that congregate in our eaves, under the deck and in the corners. “Ember cast” loves that stuff. Check out “ember cast” on YouTube to witness what happens to a staged house and an ember cast test. It will blow your mind how quickly those bits of debris burst into flames and set everything else along with it.

Next is the “ladder” fuel of which I mentioned above. Cut back everything to 6 feet off the ground. Since we can’t, nor do we want to, cut down all the trees, at least let’s trim them up and deprive any wayward fire of its fuel. The Firemen will tell you time and again, your defensible space makes all the difference.

In fact, go to their website at forestvillefire.org and under the big word Emergency on the left you’ll see the navigation for the site. Scroll down to “Fire Prevention” and open the section by clicking on the gray arrow. You’ll find all sorts of valuable information on these pages, like how to sign up for Nixel or SoCo Alert for warning calls.

I have to admit, it’s hard for old eyes such as mine to read that site with the black backdrop, but stick with it, it’s important information. When you realize the Firemen have 8,500 folks in a 25 square miles to cover, the more we can do for ourselves the better!

A good place to have a meeting is at the Hollydale Club. August’s Last Sunday Breakfast is sausage and eggs with home fries and fresh fruit. Table tennis is every 1st and 3rd Thursdays and of course there is always a game going on those Last Sunday breakfasts. They are pleased to see the next generation enjoying the Clubhouse. Under 10-years-old are free!

Watch for kiddos along the roads as soon they are headed back to school mid August.

Board Meetings

• 1st Tuesday of mo.
• 5:30 – 7:30 PM
• In-Person at:
6550 Railroad Ave., Forestville
• Via Zoom: Get Link
• For more info, contact:
Board President,
Lucy Hardcastle
Everyone welcome.