By PATRICIA MOONEY
Many of us fondly remember watching “The Wizard of Oz” every year when we were children. Each character is on a quest to find something they are missing. The Tin Man needs a heart, the Cowardly Lion needs courage, and Dorothy needs to get home. But it’s the Straw Man who represents most Californians. Not in the sense that we need a brain, but that we need to protect ourselves from fire.
It’s now the time of year when remnants of this Spring’s Super Bloom have dried to a crackling crunch, providing fuel for fire. Santa Ana winds can whip up to a 100 miles an hour and devastate homes, land and families.
A few nights ago all evening television shows were pre-empted by breaking news of a fire in Chula Vista near Main Street which allegedly began on the river bed there where homeless encampments had been reported. So it’s not difficult to parse what probably happened. Someone wanted to be warm or heat up a can of food and the fire got away from them.
Here in San Carlos, on Halloween, a man who picked up a jack-o-lantern with a candle inside lit his costume on fire and ended up in the hospital with third degree burns. Witnesses reported that he was a “walking fireball.” The fire roared into his garage where it took firefighters 10 minutes to put it out.
As videographers, President Mark Schulze and I have produced a couple of videos over the years that can help you protect your home and family from wildfire. The “San Diego Fire & Rescue Brush Management” video instructs home-owners how to create a defensible space around their homes. In the “Embers” video, produced for Mission Trails Regional Park (thanks to a grant from the city of San Diego), geologist Pat Abbott shows how embers can travel over 5 miles into dried palm trees and cracks in your roof. I have posted both of these videos at our Facebook page, bit.ly/2C83mKK.
Neighbors, come join SCAC
At our most recent board meeting, the SCAC board members all voted to eliminate membership dues, so any community member can join the board (ages 18 and over) or simply come to our monthly meetings. We usually gather on the first Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at San Carlos Branch Library, 7265 Jackson Drive. Our holiday meeting will occur on Dec. 11, so bring a dessert or dish to share, as this will be a great way to meet your San Carlos neighbors.
If you wish to be added to the Interested Persons List or have a topic you would like to learn or talk about, please contact San Carlos Area Council VP Patricia Mooney at firstname.lastname@example.org.