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Despite Residents’ Best Efforts, Another Burn Pile Escapes

BASS LAKE — Another escaped burn pile had firefighters responding just after noon today, this time in the Bass Lake area.

Cal Fire Engine 4254 was at the scene within minutes of dispatch, at a home near Teaford Meadow, and found residents working on five burn piles. One of those piles had crept into a nearby woodpile.

“These folks were trying to do everything the correct way,” says Incident Commander and Cal Fire Bass Lake Station Captain Mike Hunziker. “It is a burn day, and they had hand tools and water, and thought they had a sufficient fireline around the piles.”

One thing people may not realize is the difference between bare, natural soil, and duff, says Hunziker. The build-up of debris — including pine needles and other forest detritus — may be hard-packed on the ground. But that is not bare soil. To create a good, effective fireline around your piles, you need to scrape away all that duff until you hit dirt.

The fire only spread a couple feet into the woodpile, and firefighters quickly handled the situation.

Hunziker reminds everyone that burn day or not, people need to evaluate their own individual situation. Just a few hundred feet in elevation makes a big difference in the condition and moisture content of fuels, and any prevailing winds.

For more information on preparing for wildfire, visit any of these helpful websites:

http://firewisemaderacounty.org

http://www.mariposafiresafe.net

http://readyforwildfire.org

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Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online