California isn’t exactly known for its abundance of rain or precipitation. In fact, the sunshine state is experiencing one of the driest years in recorded state history. In other words, we are fire-prone. And with summer fire season just around the corner, there’s no time like the present to clear the dead brush and overgrown vegetation around your home.
So for those of you who forgot to do your outdoor spring cleaning, this is the time to be proactive and just do it. Put on those dusty work gloves and get ready to clear the brush around your home. By prepping your home now and creating a Defensible Space that buffers your home from surrounding grass, trees, shrubs and other fire fuels, you can increase the chance that your home will survive a fire.
Safe Steps to Prepare for Brush Fire Season
- You’ll need to maintain 100 feet of Defensible Space to mitigate fire risks around your home.
- Translation: clear all needles, leaves and branches from roofs, eaves, rain gutters and your yard.
- Trim tree limbs and branches up at least 6 feet from the ground to prevent ladder fuels.
- This doesn’t mean you need to surround your home with a severe dirt terrain.
- Instead, landscape with fire resistant, drought tolerant plants, which can beautify your digs, increase your property value and the big plus is that you get to save water in the process.
- To keep it simple, follow the three R’s – remove, reduce and replace.Remove dead trees, reduce “ladder fuels” of dead and low-hanging branches, and replace flammable vegetation with those that are less likely to burn.
- Remember, Smokey’s counting on you to be Firewise! So don’t be that guy that mows their lawn on a hot and windy Red Flag Warning Day. That’s just silly. Be Firewise and trim or mow dry grass before 10 a.m.
The best offense is a great fire defense so follow the simple steps above to prepare your home and protect it come fire season. And while you’re at it, don’t forget that now is also the perfect time to have your Emergency Kit and Evacuation Plan in place, especially since there’s always the pesky unpredictability of earthquakes to contend with. We all know how fire likes to follow in earthquakes’ footsteps.
Photo Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service on Flickr