The Decision to Purchase in a High Fire Zone
When my husband and I purchased our property in Dobbins, CA, we knew we were buying property in a high fire zone. On our first visit to view the property, we fell in love with the location and the ambiance of the Dobbins area. I had always dreamed of living in a resort area; this location was like a dream come true. But, there was this issue about the property being located in a high fire zone. We knew we had to weigh the pros and cons of living in such a place.
We did not want to put our safety at risk for the sake of living in our dream home. So before we purchased the property, we did extensive research. We talked to fire hazard professionals and people who live in the neighborhood. We saw that none of them were worried about fire danger. We learned that the last major fire was over several decades ago. We learned that since that fire, the county had put protective measures in place. These measures assure that if and when a fire happens in this area, the fire will be dealt with swiftly.
Dobbins has regular Fire Safe Council meetings dedicated to educating residents about how to protect their property from becoming a victim of fire damage. My husband and I attended one of these meetings. We learned a lot about establishing a defensive surrounding for our property and how to prepare for evacuation for both ourselves and our farm animals.
We signed up for neighborhood alerts so that we would be notified through a phone call, text message, and email notification if there is a possible danger. These notifications have been extremely helpful in keeping us abreast of potential fire danger. But the foremost and most prominent thing we learned was to be aware of our surroundings and be conscientious of the announcements and alerts about fire danger.
The Oregon Peak Yuba Fire Lookout Tower is located up high on a hill and is about 5.6 miles from our home (as the crow flies). This tower is staffed by volunteers positioned to watch and observe the valley and report any indication of fire.
Practice Makes Perfect
The good thing about living in an area designated as a high fire zone is that we have highly trained professionals who are called into action regularly. Because they constantly work to arrest fires, they build up an instinctual reaction to fires and know without hesitation what to do to stop the blaze. I have not heard of any fire getting out of hand here. Fires are quickly maintained and controlled.
I believe that if I were to live in an area where fires happened occasionally, the firefighters, while competent, are not constantly fighting fires, so when a fire occurs, they now need to calculate and figure out what to do versus the firefighter who is continuously called to work on fires. The more fires they fight, the more instinct they have toward maintaining a fire.
No More Fear of Fire
All of the above observations made my husband and I confident that we would live in a safe place if we moved to Dobbins.
- The fire station is located just down the road, and as we turn into our community, there is a fire sub-station. So, we are covered quite well in case of a fire.
- There are numerous opportunities to learn more about preparing for and staying safe during a fire.
- Fire officials have a dynamic alert system that keeps us in the loop by phone calls, text messages, and emails.
- And last but not least, the neighbors around here look out for each other, checking in with each other, making sure we are all safe, and if any of us need help, some neighbors can be counted on to make sure everyone and their animals are kept out of danger.
The following resources provide information that may help thwart any fear you may have about living in a high fire zone.
- YubaNet: Keep up to date on fire news in Nevada and Yuba Counties.
- Inciweb: Updated regularly as fire news from fire services comes in. This website has options on how you can view the fire perimeters. Use the Table View or the Map View to view fires. Also, get information about evacuations and announcements.
- The CalFire Incident Page: This page has information about any fire managed by CalFire.
- CalFire Twitter Feeds: Here are links for Yuba/Nevada and our other neighbor Butte County.
- Fire Cameras: There are many cameras located around the region. We are in the Greater Tahoe area. The following link is where you might be able to see a fire in the Dobbins area.
- Yuba Fire Safe Council: You will find a plethora of information about fire safety, information, resources, and services.
I do not advocate for or suggest that people move to a high fire zone. In this article, I intended to share my experience living in an area designated as a high fire zone.