Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Politics
  3. Independent

Firefighters discuss hazards and insect pests in this season of drought

See also

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) Spokesman Glenn Barley discussed fire hazards at a recent Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) meeting. Half a dozen Cal Fire personnel were in attendance, as well as Division Chief Kathleen Opliger from San Bernardino County Fire Department. The county agency recently took over management of Crest Forest Fire Department.

Barley addressed issue arising from the extremely dry conditions in the mountains, as well as home safety. He pointed out that zero-clearance fireplaces, such as the kind that have gas burners, cannot be used to burn wood. In fact, two recent house fires were caused by burning wood in zero-clearance fireplaces, cracking the rear wall and setting the inside of the wall on fire. Often such fires are not detected until the attic area is completely involved.

In response to the drought and dry conditions, Cal Fire has increased staffing in the red-flag areas, which include a large swath of Los Angeles County, as well as the San Bernardino Mountains. Cal Fire addresses the current red flag warning on their web site:

Local fire stations will hoist red flags when alerts are called.

On the positive side, the extremely cold weather of recent weeks has served to reduce the population of insect pests. Barley strongly advised that residents acquire their firewood locally, in order to avoid importing such pests. Barley discussed two insect pests in particular: the goldspotted oak borer, which prefers black oak; and the polyphagous shot hole borer, which prefers avocado trees but will attack many different tree species. Both of these pests are beetles that lay eggs, producing larvae with bore into tree trunks. The holes that they create will cut off the circulation of sap inside the wood, causing the tree to die.

Information about those invasive beetles is available at::

goldspotted oak borer

polyphagous shot hole borer

Spokesperson Janet Nelsen presented Assemblyman Tim Donnelly’s view that the state fire tax, which has been enforced for the past two years, is unconstitutional and should be repealed. The personnel from Cal Fire and the county fire service are not at liberty to state their personal views on the matter.




  • Al Qaeda video surfaces
    A video of an Al Qaeda meeting surfaces, concealed identities are raising suspicions
    Watch Video
  • Boston Marathon
    Boston cops shut down Boylston street after finding suspicious, unattended backpacks
    Top News
  • Death penalty for hate crime?
    Actions by the anti-Semitic gunman are being condemned by the unlikeliest of groups
    Crime News
  • New York gun control
    As many as one million New Yorkers are ready to disregard the state's new gun laws
  • Korean ferry capsizes
    Hundreds of passengers are missing after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    World News
  • NYPD ends surveillance on Muslims
    The NYPD will end surveillance programs against Muslims in their own communities
    Watch Video

Related Videos:

  • Cliven Bundy
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518194231" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Capitalism, An American Tragedy
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517516611" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Sylvester at Oak Bar 1977
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;autoplay=1"></iframe>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!