Not If, But When…
Preparing the City, Valley, and Region for the Next Wildland Fire
Saturday, March 30, 2019
3:00-5:00PM – Matilija Auditorium
703 El Paseo Road in Ojai
This event is free but RSVP is required. Click here to reserve your place.
Sean Anderson – Professor at CSUCI
Bryant Baker – Los Padres Forest Watch
Theresa Bulla-Richards – Educator, Community Leader
Will Castagna – Chair of the Ojai Fire Safe Council
John McNeil – Ventura County Fire Division Chief
The free event is made possible with support from the Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The City of Ojai has long been designated a “community at risk” on Federal documents. This designation was derived due to Ojai’s ring of mountainous terrain, flashy native chaparral vegetation, fire history, and population density. Following the disastrous 2017 Thomas fire (largest recorded California wildfire at the time), we need a comprehensive strategy going forward.
The true cost of a wildfire is not the general cost of fire suppression, but rather the 60-70% increase reflected in damages to:
- Homes and business losses
- Air quality
- View shed
- Flood cycle
- Wildlife death
- Economic issues and tourism
- Sales & property tax loss
- Community mental well-being
By recognizing the true costs of a wildfire, we can begin to see the much larger issues that adversely affect the entire community. While the majority of fire suppression costs are reimbursed via federal/state sources, the community must rebuild itself physically and mentally.
This panel, with representatives from government, fire safety, the forest service, and others will discuss a community wildfire strategy to help minimize the affects of the next wildfire. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when the next wildland fire hits Ojai.