Philomath Fire & Rescue

A Philomath Fire & Rescue Type 1 engine sits on site in northern California during an Oct. 10-19 mission to help in the fight against the Santa Rosa fires.

TOM MILLER, PROVIDED

During an interview with fire chief Tom Miller and Lt. Victor Haney this morning about their experiences on the Santa Rosa fires, it naturally crossed my mind if they had any thoughts about that type of devastation coming to our region.

Miller said "the potential is there" for that type of scenario, especially if the winds are high and dry and a fire source materializes, whether it's a downed power line or someone being careless with a slash pile burn.

"It goes back to the Ready, Set, Go! program that we've been implementing with Rich (Saalsaa) and the community," Miller said. "Are you ready for the fire to come, is your building set up and do you have everything packed and ready to go when it's time to leave."

The program's tenets: Be "ready" with preparedness understanding ... be "set" with situational awareness ... and to "go" and act early when a fire starts.

It's something that did happen with Santa Rosa area residents.

"You hear stories about neighbors going ahead of the fire telling people," Miller said. "It's 10:30 at night, you might be in bed, but (they're telling people) 'the fire's coming.' There were people in cars driving off just ahead of the fire.

"There were eyewitness accounts of people's vehicles actually on fire as they're driving away," he added.

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