Use This Good Weather to Create Defensible Space for the Upcoming Fire Season, Urges Letter to the Editor

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Letter to the editor

[Background Image from By Johnny_Spasm Via WikiCommons]

Dear editor,This lovely balmy springlike weather is the perfect time to be creating and maintaining the fire-safe space around your house and outbuildings. The Southern Humboldt Fire Safe Council urges you to fine tune your defensible space–five feet around the house cleared of anything that can burn, 30 feet out “lean and green,” with lower limbs removed from well-spaced trees and shrubs. You should have 100 feet radius of “defensible space,” pruned up and free of ground litter. (Alternately, if you don’t own that 100 feet, create a fire-safe space to your boundary, and get your neighbor on board!) For us, all this means fighting fire with fire–piling and burning the fuel that would carry flames up into the canopy, fuel that could light the house on fire. I actually love this process! Burning our big piles, I think, with glee, “my mommy would never let me do this!” And the results are so spectacularly beautiful.

You don’t need a CALFIRE permit until May 1, and you can get your Air Quality permit online:

And what about fire preparation in your neighborhood? To check in with what other neighborhoods are doing, get inspiration and information, questions answered, come to this Thursday’s Fire Safe Council meeting on Zoom at 5PM. You can email me for the Zoom link or the telephone call-in information: [email protected]

Be safe, be well!

Gail Eastwood
Southern Humboldt Fire Safe Council Interim Chairperson



  • No One You Know

    Would LOVE it if CalTrans would get their act together and clear the undergrowth from the verges of the freeway. Not just a simple mowing, but removing the brush from the right of way, since a cigarette tossed or a spark ignited could take out a whole neighborhood of otherwise careful people.

  • Quality time with the driptorch.

    • (to the tune of “Give Me a Rose”)
      Give me fire in the wintertime
      when it’s hard to find;
      Give me fire in the wintertime,
      I’ve got fire on my mind…

  • At the moment the panel on the right where Kym lists the most recent posts shows 4 of the 17 articles listed having to do with fires.

  • “Defensible space” might work if we have normal fire, but we are having windstorm fire and arson fire.
    Trees anywhere near your house guarantee your house will goes up in smoke if a catastrophic fire is set free in your direction.
    Flames can literally blow laterally and blow fire from ridge to ridge in minutes or less.
    Side your place with cement board or metal, use exposed wood minimally, and convert your under ground grow room to a domestic setup.
    All wild grasses or lawn must be sheared to the bone in fire season.
    Any encumbrances connected to or nearby your primary residence only incites a firestorm.
    Southern humboldt has amazingly been spared, but don’t be fooled.
    Humans can’t stop a firestorm.
    All we can do is prepare.
    surround your home with a treeless boundary way bigger than 5 feet.
    More like 300 feet in every direction.
    When a firestorm comes, there will be nobody to fight the fire but the homeowners themselves.
    In my experience loosing my house, firefighters just showed up and tried to kick me off my property so they could retreat.

  • Create firebreaks where ever you can, clear lower branches, remove trees that are less than 10 feet from each other. Not only do you need a clear space around your house, you need that same space around anything that can burn. Then install sprinklers on the roof, in the trees, at your boundary. You have two choices, do everything you can to prep for the eventual fire, or buy insurance and hope it covers everything you will lose.

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