Sonora, CA — City of Sonora Fire Chief Mike Barrows is thankful to be back home and sleeping in his own bed.
Barrows led a two county strike team during the midst of the southern California fires. The Office of Emergency Services (O.E.S.) working in conjunction with Southern Operations based in San Bernardino (South Ops) undertook the task of assembling strike teams. When the need exceeded the resources a secondary request was made. The CAL FIRE Emergency Command Center in San Andreas contacted Barrows who then put together a strike team of five engines from Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties.
The team made stops in Malibu, Chino, Grass Valley and the Slide Fire before finally returning home this week.
For Mother Lode residents Barrows says it´s important to make sure that proper defensible space is always maintained. He adds it is extremely important that areas that shelter leaves be kept clear and that gutters be cleaned on a regular basis. Embers can imbed themselves in a gutter and quickly move into an attic. By the time firefighters spot the glow it is often times too late to save the structure.
Barrows added that California has literally set the national standard for fighting wildland fires with its Incident Command System.
Written by Bill Johnson