Talk on wildfire risk slated for Nov. 20 at Hebrew Center

Firefighters watch a prescribed burn in Edgartown back in May. — Rich Saltzberg

University of San Francisco Professor Barbara Sattler will hold a Nov. 20 talk at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center on the dangers of wildland fires and how to safeguard against them. The talk comes as wildfires continue to burn acreage in multiple locations in California, triggering evacuations. Sattler’s talk will include personal preparation tips, home defensible space strategies, emergency alert plans, emergency planning for health workers, and forest management as related to fire prevention. 

All six Vineyard fire chiefs will be in attendance, as will DCR Bureau of Forest Fire Control and Forestry District Fire Warden Joshua Nigro, Edgartown Fire Chief Alex Schaeffer said. Chief Schaeffer and his department have worked with the DCR this year to conduct three separate controlled burns that reduced fuel loads in Edgartown wildlands. Chief Schaeffer said the Edgartown Fire Department is poised to receive a grant from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency via the Federal Emergency Management Agency for $27,000. The grant will be used to update countywide hazard mitigation plans, with a focus on wildland fire protection. Chief Schaeffer noted the Vineyard fire departments are continually honing their skills and procedures relative to wildland fires, and frequently work closely with DCR’s Bureau of Forest Fire Control and Forestry in doing so.