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Thursday, 08 March 2018 15:23

EDITORIAL: Getting Ready Before a Major Wildland Fire

(TNS) - California had more than 9,100 wildland fires in 2017, according to Cal Fire data, burning across more than 1.2 million acres.

The largest was in Southern California in December, the most destructive was here in Sonoma County two months earlier.

One thing common to many, if not most, California wildfires is a concerted response, a marshaling of equipment and personnel from local, state and federal firefighting agencies.

California’s mutual-aid system, created in 1950, has been described as the gold standard for wildland firefighting. But the resources haven’t kept pace with the growing threat in a state where almost a third of all homes are in areas bordering on forests, grasslands and other natural vegetation — a zone known as the wildland-urban interface.

The fraying was never clearer than in the first hours of the Wine Country fires.