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Residents can step into the 'Fire Zone'

Posted: October 15, 2008 9:30 p.m.
Updated: December 17, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The smoke might not be clear over Southern California by the time the Los Angeles County Fire Department hosts it next fire expo.

"Living in The Fire Zone" is an educational event to teach people how to stay safe if they live in wildfire areas, said Stephanie English, county fire spokeswoman.

The recent Marek and Sesnon fires bring home the lesson.

L.A. County Fire will show owners how to protect their homes when fires are close by, English said.

Vendors will showcase fire safety equipment available to the average homeowner and lecturers will teach the importance of fire-resistant construction and defensible space, she said.

But "Living in The Fire Zone" is much more than a fire expo, English said.

"The Fire Department's goal is protect lives and property, but with wind-driven fires that is difficult," she said.

Winds drove the Marek and Sesnon fires, which swallowed homes and charred thousands of acres of land.

Fire departments are giving people extra tools to keep themselves safe, but the best way to stay safe is to get out when told to, said Luke Claus, L.A. County Battalion 6 assistant fire chief.

"If you are told to leave it's because we know fire is approaching your homeland you need to get out," Claus said.

Evacuations were swift and most people obeyed the orders during the Marek and Sesnon fires, English said. However, two fatalities occurred during the fires, she said.

The expo is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Fire Station 124 at 25870 Hemingway, Stevenson Ranch. Admission and refreshments are free.


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