Not too late for fire prevention, says county

   As the region enters the most dangerous part of its fire season, the county reminds homeowners they still have time to help protect themselves by cutting weeds, dead and dying vegetation and potentially combustible shrubs and vegetation from around their homes.

   Despite the firestorms in 2003 and 2007, wildfires are still a threat and homeowners are encouraged to help protect themselves and their property.

   County codes require homeowners to create 100 feet of defensible space around houses. Ways to do that include: keep irrigated, fire-resistant landscaping around homes trimmed and watered, don’t plant flammable shrubs and trees beneath eaves and attic vents, trim trees that overhang or touch homes, and keep natural vegetation trimmed and thinned.

   County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, whose district was hit hard by the 2003 and 2007 wildfires, has championed defensible space for years.

   “Firefighters will tell you, defensible space dramatically increases a structure’s chances of surviving a wildfire,” Jacob said.

   Homeowners are cautioned to be careful when creating defensible space around homes. Use gas and electrical powered equipment during cooler, less windy hours before 10 a.m., when sparks are not as likely to create accidental fires.

   For more information, see the county’s wildfire preparedness guide at www.sdcounty.ca.gov/oes/ready/docs/wildfire_preparedness_guide.pdf,  the Wildfire Zone at www.wildfirezone.org, the Burn Institute’s “Living with Wildfire” guide at www.burninstitute.org/pdfs/BI-Wildfire-Guide09.pdf, Cal Fire at www.fire.ca.gov and “Fire, Defensible Space and You” at www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dplu/fire_resistant.html.

   
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