SIMI VALLEY, Calif. - Despite the rain we got this winter, firefighters up and down the coast are anticipating a busy wildfire season.
Helicopters, hand crews, and goats are just a few of the tools firefighters plan on using to fight what is anticipated to be a very busy fire season.
“In Southern California, we really look at wildfires as being some of our common occurrences out there. It really comes down to not a matter of if but when,” said Fire Behavior Analyst, Brendan Ripley with the Ventura County Fire Department.
This winter we got a lot of rain and while the rain is a good thing for bouncing back from a prolonged drought it doesn’t necessarily prevent wildfires. Instead, it almost does the opposite creating the fuel that wildfires use to spread.
“That grass is like a piece of paper in a campfire. It is what will be that initial ignition source that is out there and really promote fire spread,” said Ripley.
The Ventura County Fire Department is training hard for wildfire season, on Wednesday using the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley as a backdrop the fire department demonstrated some of the tools and tactics they will be using to prevent and fight wildfires.
Hand crews are used to stop the fire from spreading by creating a line in the brush by hand.
Another tool firefighters are using to protect your home is Thermo-Gel.
“It is something that we use that we can spray all over a house that might be in the path of a wildfire. We spray his protective coating on it and it won’t burn,” said Steve Swindle with the Ventura County Fire Department.
One of the most unique ways to prevent wildfires is by utilizing goats. They are not only eco-friendly; they also have no problem traveling around rugged and steep terrain.
“When you go with a weed wacker, it is laying down but it could still have a pretty good fire and what the goats do is they just basically turn this into something that looks like a rabbit pellet. There are about 450 goats here, they should be done here in about a week so they are eating about an acre a day,” said the man who brought all the goats in Mike Canaday.
Another tip for homeowners that live near open land is to make sure that they have created a 100-foot clearance around their home, so that firefighters have the defensible space they need, to better protect it.