Cal Fire Warns of ‘Significant Increase’ in Wildfires This Winter
This warning does not bode well for the coming fire season!
In the first two months of winter, CAL FIRE has responded to a significant increase in the number of wildfires due to the continuation of dry fuel conditions. As a result, CAL FIRE officials are reminding residents to ensure that they are maintaining 100 feet of Defensible Space around their residence. This reminder comes months earlier than normal. “Now is the time to take this opportunity and ensure that each residence is prepared for the coming fire season.” said Unit Chief Christopher Rowney.
Creating and maintaining a Defensible Space often involves power equipment. Residents are asked to use extreme caution using this equipment during the heat of the day. Clearance work should be done early in the day when it is cool and the humidity is high to avoid a sparking a wildfire. Avoid clearing on days that are hot, dry, windy, and especially on days with high fire conditions like Fire Weather Watches or Red Flag Warnings.
The intent of Defensible Space is to improve safety for fire fighters defending a home as well as increase the survivability of a “Building or Structure” that exist in grass, brush, and forest covered lands within the designated State Responsibility Area (SRA) of California.
Defensible Space regulations, Public Resource Code 4291, have been updated to the following:
Maintain 100 feet of Defensible Space around all structures of all dead or dying vegetation.
Remove all leaves and pine needles from rain gutters or on top of roofs.
Remove dead trees or shrub branches that overhang roofs, and below or adjacent to windows.
Keep branches a minimum of 10 feet away from chimney and stovepipe outlets.
Relocate firewood piles outside the 30 foot zone unless covered with a fire resistant material.
All exposed wood piles must have a minimal clearance of 10 feet down to bare mineral soil in all directions.
Remove all flammable vegetation or items that could catch fire from adjacent to or under combustible decks, balconies and stairs.
Dead and dying woody surface and aerial fuels shall be removed within the 100 foot zone.
Loose surface litter consisting of leaves, pine needles, and twigs shall be permitted to a maximum depth of 3 inches.
Cut annual grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches.
Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) storage tanks shall have a minimum 10 foot clearance down to bare mineral soil and no flammable vegetation for an additional 10 feet.
For more fire information on preparing for wildfires and defensible space visit: www.ReadyForWildfire.org. Always remember One Less Spark means One Less Wildfire.