The Silver Fire - What Can we Learn?

The Silver Fire this month destroyed homes in Squaw Valley.  One homeowner lost everything, including animals.  The community has reached out to help in trying to reconstruct their lives.  The Twin Valley Restaurant had a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on October 16th and raised $3,136 for the victims.  This is an ongoing fundraising effort.  Anyone who would like to contribute can send donations to the Mountain Valley Fire Department at P.O. Box 427, Dunlap Ca, 93621.  Make checks payable to Mountain Valley Fire Department.  Make sure you designate what the money is for by putting a note that it is for the Silver Fire.


The Squaw Valley/Dunlap/Miramonte area has had many fires in the last few years.  Members of the OTFSC started tallying the ones we could remember.  There have been a lot.  Some were started by electrical transformers or illegal hookups to electrical sources for growing pot, some by arson, some by lightning.  Fortunately most of those were relatively small and CalFire or the Forest Service, depending on location, was able to put them out quickly.  The question is, what can we learn from those fires so they are less likely to happen again or cause damage to property, animals, and people.  


The recent Silver Fire was one of the few that caused loss of property.  Another was the fire on the Hogback.  On the Hogback, a house that had done extensive brushing and preparation was spared, another house went up in smoke.  On the Silver Fire, the fire spread so rapidly that people were hard pressed to get out with the clothes on their backs.  Animals were lost as well as all possessions.  Perhaps all the houses had done their 100’ of brushing.  The question is, how did the land beyond the 100’ look?  Was there tall grass ready to ignite?  What carried that fire up hill so rapidly? What could have been done to prevent that rapid rush of fire? That will be the kind of thing the Community Wildfire Prevention Plan will address.  


The OTFSC can’t stress enough the importance of having a proactive plan.  To find out more about prevention, join us at the library for cookies and conversation, Dec. 6th at 5:00.  We want to have this conversation with the entire population of our service area - the foothill and mountain communities east of the Friant-Kern Canal and south of the Kings River of Fresno County.

Please use this form to contact Mountain Valley Fire regarding interest in donating to Silver Fire Victims.

Oak to Timberline Fire Safe Council

5                               PO Box 762, Squaw Valley, CA 93675

Funding provided by a grant from the Cooperative Fire Program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region, through the California Fire Safe Council. 


This institution is an equal opportunity provider. 


The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the California Fire Safe Council, U.S. Forest Service or the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the California Fire Safe Council or the U.S. Government.