By Ted AYALA
In an effort to help brace residents for any future fires and instructing them in simple tasks that can help prevent fires, the Crescenta Valley Fire Safe Council (CVFSC) invited residents of Briggs Terrace Monday night, Nov. 22 in the auditorium of Rosemont Middle School for an informative presentation.
With the memory of last year’s devastating Station Fire still fresh in the minds of residents, the CVFSC has been painstakingly instructing residents of the Crescenta Valley communities on what they can do to survive the next fire threat. They have also been coordinating with local emergency agencies in devising new methods of transport and communication during a disaster. Briggs Terrace is particularly vulnerable in a fire as it only has one exit.
Nearly 100 residents filled Rosemont’s auditorium eager to hear the message from the CVFSC and the presentations by guest speakers.
Roger Young, head of the CVFSC, spoke at length on the inroads the CVSFC has cut in the last year. One of the most successful of these was a new reverse calling system that kept residents up-to-date with the latest information relating to their neighborhoods during a disaster.
Representative from the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACFD) Mike Brown praised the work of the CVFSC. Thanks to the CVFSC’s work, Brown noted that the Crescenta Valley is “miles ahead of other communities” when it comes to fire preparedness and prevention.
Another representative from the LACFD, Jay Lopez (Forestry Division) noted that despite progress, there was still much work to be done.
Lopez played a video to the audience that showed simple ways homeowners can ensure that their homes have a better chance at surviving a fire. Noting that some homes survive fires, while mystifyingly, others in the vicinity survive, Lopez said that more often than not these occurrences were not due to “random [acts] or bad luck.”
Some of the steps shown residents that could shield their homes from fire included installing fire resistant roofing, clearing the density of trees in the surrounding areas, and ensuring that dry pine needles are not allowed to gather on a home‘s property.
After the presentation, the CVFSC encouraged residents to get to know each other and build relationships with each other. “This is a team effort,” noted Young. “We can’t do this alone.”
Crescenta Valley Town Council President Cheryl Davis was also in attendance at
the CVFSC meeting. When asked about the effectiveness of the CVFSC, she was glowing with praise: “I think it’s wonderful … [I’m] really proud of them.”
She especially found the CVFSC‘s measures to improve communications between residents especially praiseworthy. “Communities need to mobilize and work together. When something happens, we need to depend on our neighbors.”