Wildland Fire & Evacuation Drill
Fire departments from all over San Mateo County will be converging on Portola Valley on Wednesday, May 7 to conduct a day-long training drill on wildland firefighting.
The Woodside Fire Protection District (WFPD) hosted the same type of drill last year but utilized Woodside neighborhoods to conduct their training scenarios. This year the community of Los Trancos and Vista Verde will participate in an evacuation scenario, while Portola Valley Town staff complete a test run of their Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
"This drill provides ideal training and familiarization with problematic narrow streets and an abundance of fire-prone vegetation for engine companies coming from different cities," states Fire Marshal Denise Enea.
Fire crews will simulate an aggressive wildfire in Portola Valley. They will stage at Ford Field and proceed as assigned to various locations, including the neighborhoods of Ramona, Old Spanish Trail, Joaquin and portions of PV Ranch. The drill will incorporate the Office of Emergency Services (OES), SMC Sheriff's Office, Town of Portola Valley, Cal Fire, and various Santa Clara County and San Mateo County Fire agencies.
WFPD prides itself in proactive operational training for firefighting and emergency personnel. "Wildfire has been a constant and looming threat in California over the years. The drought-like conditions we are presently experiencing only raise the possibility of more frequent and intensified fires in our immediate area," warns Fire Marshal Enea. "The Woodside Fire Protection District is primed for a wildland fire with steep, brushy slopes full of hillside homes, many with aging wood shake roofs."
The Citizens Emergency Response Preparedness Program (CERPP) Coordinator Selena Brown encourages all residents of Los Trancos and Vista Verde to participate in the evacuation drill. "We can reduce the potential risk of loss of life and property by preparing for a catastrophic event before it happens."
For additional information on this upcoming drill, please contact WFPD at (650) 851-1594.