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'Have A Plan To Get Out': New Survey Shows Several Greater Sacramento-Area Cities Have High Fire Risk

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new survey shows California's fire risk is growing, and several communities in the Greater Sacramento region are being singled out for the danger posed by wildfires.

New maps show the fire risk and allow people to see just how much fire danger is in their neighborhood. One local community has some of the highest fire risk in the state.

Nearly every year, fires burn dangerously close to the Yolo County town of Winters.

"There's been fires that have come down from the north with the north winds, there's been fires that have come up from the south," said Tanya Meyer with the Yolo Fire Safe Council.

Now, a new survey by First Street Foundation shows the Yolo County town has one of the highest fire dangers in the region, ranking it in the "extreme" category with more than 2,500 properties at risk.

"It's not a matter of if you will burn, it's when," Meyer said.

Meyer says new efforts are underway to prevent fires from spreading.

"We have done a defensible space ambassador training program," she said.

The program teaches volunteers how to work with neighbors to trim away dangerous brush and make homes more fire-resistant.

"If you think about taking a match and throwing it in your yard and picturing what might happen, if you're afraid to do that, then you're probably not ready for wildfire season," Meyer said.

The survey includes a mapping option that allows homeowners to enter their address and find their fire risk.

Many other cities including Folsom, Roseville, Lincoln and Rancho Cordova are in the major or severe categories.

"Every person that lives in those high fire-threat areas needs to be prepared," said Captain Parker Wilbourn with Sacramento Metro Fire.

Last summer, Folsom preemptively declared a state of emergency due to fire danger, which allowed the fire chief to close off city-owned open spaces to the public.

Firefighters say it is essential to be prepared before a fire breaks out.

"Have a plan to get out of your property. So if you're in a tight area, have two ways out of that neighborhood. Make sure that you and your family are safe," Wilbourn said.

The survey found that nationwide, one and a half million properties are in the extreme fire risk category.

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