Somewhat thankfully, California residents are breathing more easily as the 2019 fire season winds down with fewer acres burned than during the 2018 season. From early January through the end of November 2019, 46,706 wildfires burned 4.6 million acres in the state. During the same period in 2018, nearly 60,000 fires scorched an astounding 8.5 million acres, including the Mendocino Complex Fire that became the largest in state history when it burned half a million acres. Fueled by drought, high winds and a buildup of dry vegetation, the fires of 2018 will be long remembered for their widespread devastation.
Fortunately, this season was not as severe as officials had predicted in the spring. However, for the 200,000 citizens evacuated this year and those who lost properties in the blazes, this year’s season was singularly shocking and destructive. As it does every year, Paul Davis marshalled its network of locations, partners and resources to prepare thoroughly and respond quickly once the flames began to leap.
Paul Davis of Santa Clarita exemplified how the company responds throughout Canada and the U.S. when customers experience fire damage, whether inflicted by a huge historic wildfire or a smaller conflagration. “This community sticks together through adversity and that was true during the Tick Fire, which broke out at the end of October and burned several thousand acres in the Santa Clarita Valley,” says Susan Moss, who owns Paul Davis of Santa Clarita with husband Joel. “Conditions forced 40,000 people in Los Angeles County to evacuate, among them ourselves since the fire was on our street. Also, smoke hung over the city for days.” Husband Joel Moss added: “We’ve been in this community for a long time, so people know they can absolutely count on our help to recover when they are affected by a disaster like this one.”
Thorough preparation is key to the system-wide response across Paul Davis locations because wildfires – a threat throughout the year across North America – are so unpredictable and violent. Nine of 10 are sparked by humans with matches, cigarettes, campfires, vehicle spark, power lines and arson. Once ignited, they can concoct private weather systems, roaring with self-propelled 200 kilometer-per-hour winds that fan flames further. Their scorching temperatures preheat fuel in their paths and they can speed along at up to 22 kilometers an hour.
Paul Davis of Santa Clarita was ready when the Tick Fire, named for its proximity to Tick Canyon Road, threatened a customer’s home. Well-prepared crews arrived quickly with resources and supplies but also focused on making this resident feel comfortable and safe. She penned a gracious letter after the threat abated. “Thank you for hanging in with me,” she wrote, “and all you did and are doing for me. Your employees were all very nice, respectful, good workers, and efficient. They also worked quietly and I appreciate that a lot!”
Whether fires are large or small, in California or elsewhere, Paul Davis is ready 24/7/365 to respond within four hours of a call for help.