Event eyes wildfire planning

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According to the University of Idaho’s Center for Public Policy Research, the wildfire season in western US has increased from 5 to 7 months since 1970. The average timespan of large fires has increased from 7.5 to 37.1 days in even less time.

The impact of those changes has been obvious in Bonner County for the last few years as we spend more time indoors to get away from smoke, said event organizer Jean Gerth of 350Sandpoint.org.

On Saturday, Sept. 8, experts from local fire districts, Bonner County and the U.S. Forest Serivce will gather at Sandpoint Library, 1407 Cedar, to discuss the current state of wildfires here, and planning for future wildfire seasons. Doors open at 11 a.m. Panel discussion will begin at 11:30 am. The event is sponsored by 350Sandpoint.org.

“We need to foster an ongoing community discussion about wildfire and smoke,” said Gerth. “Firefighters are putting their lives on the line. We owe it to them to plan ahead. My hope for Saturday is that everyone, individuals and agencies, will leave with an increased sense of urgency to act.”

The Saturday event, “Fired Up: Planning For Wildfire in Bonner County”, will include information on creating defensible space for homes, protecting your health from smoke, and preparing for evacuation. In addition there will be a panel discussion about interagency response to fire and planning for the future.

Information: Jean Gerth, 208-290-1349 or info@350Sandpoint.org

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