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: