Fire Safe Council to hold wildfire awareness event

Smokey the Bear will be turning 80 and celebrating his birthday

Photos and Story by Catherine Stachowiak

Organizers are inviting the public to a wildfire awareness event educating the community of the Kern Valley to be prepared to prevent and deal with wildfires.

The event will be held at on National Wildfire Preparedness Day, Saturday May 4, from 10am to 2pm at Circle Park, in Kernville.  

The organizers and spear headers of the event are the Kern Fire Safe Council.  Coordinator Wendy Ward planned the event, along with Outreach Coordinator Cuc Tat, and with support from the Kern County Fire Department, the US Forest Service, and the Kernville Chamber of Commerce.

Ward said, “The Kern fire safe council has invited over 20 partners or agencies to present information, in an interactive and entertaining way, with community members on being fire resilient; so whether it’s preparing for a wild fire or what to do during a wildfire or what happens after a wildfire.”

The Kern Fire Safe Council will have information on home hardening a defensible space and building a fire wise community.

“We have apparatus from Kern County Fire Department, US Forest Service and BLM so whether its buggies, fire engines or UTVs and equipment, they will have that where the public can interact or go up and see the equipment and the gear.” 

The fire department will talk about their evacuation system. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will have stuff on ground clearance, fire extinguishers and disaster prep. Search and Rescue is expected to be present.

“We have insurance information from Fred Clark and the California Department of Insurance,” said Ward.  Talks on waste management, self care and medical care after a fire will be points of interest.

Face painting and coloring tables are also features.  “It’s also Star Wars Day,” she said. “This year is Smokey the Bear’s 80th birthday.  So we’ll have some games.”  

Kern County Explorers will attend and the Red Cross plans to talk about evacuation and preparation. SCE will be available to talk about utility information during fires.

Central California Large Animal Disaster plans to talk about animals during evacuations, along with Kern County Animal Control. 

Independent Living Center will have information on emergency generators to assist senior citizens.  

“Were looking at over 20 vendors right now,” Ward said. 

The goal is to educate the public on wild fire preparedness, safety, and recovery and to engage the public with what service agencies are available to help.  

“It’s never too early to prepare. The notion that it may not happen to me or I can take care of it later is something that we need to address as a community because it’s going to take us all preparing for a wildfire to make sure that everybody’s safe,” said Ward.

The Rotary Club is holding a car show and the Kernville Farmer’s and Artisan Market  kicks off the same day.