Some parts of the United States are still digging out from snow and ice but in parts of California wildfire season has already begun. In Central California along the Eastern Sierra Mountains a devastating fire named the Round Fire burned through the communities of Swall Meadows and Paradise. It started on Friday February 6th and about 150 residents were evacuated from their homes. A total of 40 homes and outbuildings were destroyed. This fire started near a highway 395 by Inyo and Mono Counties and was fanned by high winds and drought like conditions. The fire consumed an area 11 square miles and firefighters were assisted by rains in containing the fire. Residents were not able to return to their properties until the 11th of February in the late afternoon due to hazards created by the fire such as downed power lines.
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This photo of burnt out vehicles and homes in Swall Meadows, California by Michele Rindelsap of the Daily News
According to the CAL FIRE Website :  “Residents will need to use extreme caution in and around damaged and destroyed homes.  Structural instability, hot ash pockets and fire weakened chimneys pose a risk for injury.  Hazardous chemicals may remain in the ash and soil.”
Our hearts go out to the residents of these communities. It is hard losing items that may be irreplaceable or have sentimental value. The valuable lesson is that there are no longer set fire seasons. It is important to make Firewise improvements year round.
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