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Author Archive for Michael Esnard

Mike Esnard is Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council president.

Fire and Forest: Fire muster April 26, climate changing daily …

 On Saturday, April 26, the public is invited to a festive and informative gathering in Idyllwild of people connected to fire prevention and firefighting. At no admission charge, we hope everyone will come and enjoy the activities. The Fire Safety Muster is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Idyllwild Community Center site in […]

Fire and Forest: Feds move to fix funding but homeowners still key …

“Facts are stubborn things,” as John Adams said, and a very stubborn thing over the last two decades has been how much we have spent on putting out forest fires. Not surprisingly, wildfire protection costs have risen substantially. A recent paper from Headwaters Economics puts the federal annual-average fire suppression cost during the 1990s at […]

Fire & Forest: Public safety and caution …

Like a lot of people, I was fascinated by the almost complete shutdown of Atlanta from 2.3 inches of snow last week. It was a failure of government to manage a threat to public safety, which cost millions of dollars and some people their lives. But the actors were not irresponsible people. They thought they […]

Fire and forest: A year in review …

The Fire Safe Council began the year with its attention on the new insect threat to the Hill’s oaks, the Goldspotted oak borer. Many of our volunteers and staff attended a training program in January at the Nature Center led by experts from the Forest Service and University of California, Riverside. From that training came […]

Fire and Forest: Winter fire safety …

Now that the nights are cold and we wonder if the next storm will bring rain or snow, the threat of wildfire is greatly reduced. But though the threat of forest fire is diminished, the threat to an individual home has grown. More homes catch fire in winter than in any other season, and of […]

Fire and Forest: Roof replacement going well …

Roof replacement going well … News about the Mountain Community’s Fire Safe Council’s reroofing program has appeared in this column before, but now that it is in full swing I think it’s worth going over in more detail. What with the Affordable Care Act web site working so poorly, I thought it a good time […]

Fire and Forest: Hardening homes as a solution …

Wildfire is getting some prominent and fresh attention in major newspapers. Both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have published thoughtful articles this summer examining the larger issues involved. (They are catching up to this newspaper, which has had great reporting on fire for as long as I can remember.) It seems […]

Fire and Forest: Renewing commitment; evacuation win …

If anything good comes out of the two major fires on the Hill this summer, I hope it’s a renewed interest and commitment in making our communities fire safe. The Mountain and the Silver fires should serve as reminders of our vulnerability. So I hope we again ask the question, “What can we do to […]

Fire and Forest: Lessons …

We are all glad that our town was unharmed by the Mountain Fire, but I don’t want to celebrate too much. I don’t want us to draw the wrong lesson, which is that fire agencies will always have the personnel and equipment to save us. After all, can’t they just keep pulling in more and […]

Fire and forest: Fire season here/prevention setback …

Southern California jumped into the fire season with a large fire in the Angeles National Forest in early June. The Powerhouse Fire burned more than 30,000 acres in dense, mature chaparral just north of Santa Clarita. Fire Safe Council Board Member Norm Walker, an incident commander on the fire, told the council that the wind, […]

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