Fire officials from several agencies gathered in Pollock Pines on Monday afternoon to kick off this year's Wildfire Awareness Week events. The idea was to remind citizens to be prepared as much as possible to give fire fighters a fighting chance if, and when, a wildfire sparks in your area.
"In the fourth year of a drought, with a water shortage, and a much longer fire season, if there was ever a time for people to be more careful about what they do, this is it," Secretary John Laird of the California Natural Resources Agency said.
Pollock Pines resident Shirley La Fountain remembers the King Fire like it was yesterday. She was evacuated from her home as the fire burned more than 97,000 acres. But luckily, her home was spared.
"I wasn't prepared. I really wasn't. I didn't have a 'go bag' or anything," La Fountain said.
Cal Fire advises residents to be their own first line of defense. Think: READY, SET, GO.
READY: Get ready before fire season.
"All of the defensible space, clear the vegetation and make sure that your home is correctly addressed so that firefighters can see those markings," advised Chief Ken Pimlott of Cal Fire.
SET: Set up evacuation routes and plans.
"Have a plan in place so you know how you are going to leave the area, and that you have all your belongings pre-identified," Pimlott said. "When the fire is occurring, that is not the time to figure out which pictures to take."
GO: Leave the area early, according to your plan.
"This is not just a government responsibility," California Office of Emergency Services director, Mark Ghilarducci said. "All of us as citizens of California have this responsibility. We live in a disaster-prone state, so wildfires are a way of life."
Also, when you take care of of your weeds or get rid of dry grass, make sure you do on a cool, foggy morning. This is to prevent sparks from machines to accidentally catch fire.
Fore more information on exactly what you can do to help prevent wildfires, head to