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California State Office
Release Date: 05/21/09
Contacts: Debra Hein , 760-872-5057  
  Jane Arteaga , 916-978-4436  
News Release No. CA-SO-09-12

The California Fire Alliance and Bureau of Land Management Launch the "Take Responsibility" Campaign

Residents are urged to protect their property and create defensible space as wildfire threats heat up and fire season approaches

The California Fire Alliance and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will launch the "Take Responsibility" campaign to urge residents to protect their property and create 100 feet of clean, open, defensible space, as fire season heats up this summer. Homeowners, especially those who live in the wildland urban interface (WUI), are urged to take simple measures that will help protect homes, families, pets and fire fighters – not only in San Diego County, but throughout California. 

WHO:  Randy Moore, Chair of the California Fire Alliance and Regional Forester, U.S. Forest Service 
            Jim Abbott, Acting State Director, Bureau of Land Management
            Tracy Jarman, San Diego Fire Chief 
            Kathy Finn, President of the Fire Safe Council & Firewise Communities/USA 
WHAT: Defensible space maintenance demonstration and fire safety training in the community of Talmadge.  The Talmadge Fire Safe Council (TFSC) is helping residents thin their  canyon properties with a matching grant from the U.S. Forest Service.
WHEN: Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 9:30 a.m.*

WHERE: Local homeowner property in the community of Talmadge at 4725 Lucille Drive, San Diego, CA 92115

WHY:  Wildfires have already destroyed nearly 100 homes in Santa Barbara this year. In 2007, California suffered one of the worst fire seasons in history with 1.6 million acres burned, more than 8,000 individual fires and 3,830 structures lost. Talmadge has been rated as a “very high fire hazard severity zone” by the city of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Increased awareness and preparedness among residence is the only solution. Homeowners need to take responsibility and be on the defense. Currently, the Talmadge Fire Safe Council (TFSC) is working with 100 homeowners in the canyon to create defensible space through funding provided by the U.S. Forest Service. The joint effort of all safety organizations is to educate and protect homeowners in order to save homes and lives.

VISUALS:   Views of the Talmadge Canyon and Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)
                     Effective defensible space demonstrations
                     Fire safety procedures and tips
                     Aerial maps and pictures of San Diego County

*EDITOR’S NOTE: Media should arrive early to setup and get b-roll of the wildland urban interface (WUI). After the event, individual interviews will be available with key representatives from the Fire Alliance and local fire chief.

Learn more about the Take Responsibility Campaign and defensible space at

About the California Fire Alliance (Alliance):

The Alliance is an interagency forum for coordinating member agencies' efforts in an integrated fashion.  The Alliance, through its members, works with communities at risk from wildfires to develop community based planning leadership and facilitates the development of community fire loss mitigation plans, which transcends jurisdiction or ownership boundaries.

The California Fire Alliance also acts as a clearinghouse in a collaborative process for grants funding. It expands the playing field to more organizations by making it easier to find and apply for grants. These funds are available for community-based efforts for fuel reduction projects, education of “firewise” communities and creation of community wildfire protection plans (CWPP’s). Some of the grant recipients are California State Parks, Rancherias (tribes), universities and state colleges, community Fire Safe Councils, and resource conservation districts.

During the siege of 2007 the efforts of interagency collaboration was evident. An example of the success of this program was the grant funded by BLM and Fish and Wildlife Service to the San Diego Fire Safe Council and San Diego Rural Fire Protection District.  The federally-funded chipping program treated 175 parcels, which resulted in protecting homes. Another example was the international fuel break, located at the border between Mexico and the United States in San Diego County, which successfully prevented the Harris fire from crossing the border, saving over 300 residences located in Tecate, Mexico, just south of the fuel break.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 05-21-2009