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Ojai Get Grant to Perform Fire Protection Work

Public/private Funds Allow Defensible Space Project At Golden Oaks Estates

Los Padres National Forest officials today announced that on October 1 at noon there will be an on-site demonstration of the fire protection work being performed at the Golden Oaks Mobile Home Estates at 1273 South Rice Road in Ojai. Representatives from the project’s funding agencies (U.S. Forest Service, California Fire Safe Council, Allstate Foundation, the CREW, Ventura County Fire Department and Help of Ojai) will be honored at 1 pm during a short ceremony at Help of Ojai’s Little House at 111 W. Santa Ana St. The public and media are invited to watch the demonstration and attend the ceremony.

The fire protection work was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Forest Service through the California Fire Safe Council to create defensible space close to the homes of income-eligible local seniors and all disabled residents in the Ojai Valley. A supplemental grant was received from the Allstate Foundation. The CREW, Help of Ojai and the Ventura County Fire Department also made contributions.

The CREW, an award-winning, Ojai-based environmental youth employment program, collaborated this year with Help of Ojai and the Ventura County Fire Department to create defensible space around the homes of several hundred disabled individuals and senior citizens in the Ojai Valley.

The CREW has already provided free services to more than 40 households and is currently clearing defensible space around several mobile home parks in the area. Persons interested in obtaining these services can call Help of Ojai at (805) 646-5122 for an on-site inspection to determine if their homes qualify for this free service.

Because of its significant economic and environmental impact, The CREW has been awarded the Governor’s Award for Environmental Leadership. It has also been honored by Ventura County’s Board of Supervisors and been named as a Treasure of Santa Barbara. It provides paid employment to youth ages 14-21 to repair forest trails, construct fire breaks and do habitat restoration, employing over 100 youth from Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties every year.

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