Taming wildfire dangers

Take early precautions amid drying flora

The late-spring rain we’ve had is both a blessing and a curse. We need the water, of course, but byproducts of that natural irrigation are weeds and grasses that already have begun to dry. If you’ve seen the news reports out of Santa Barbara, you know what that means: heightened fire risk.

Locals with homes in the midst of flora—open space, forests, orchards and farmland—should consider assessing their brush clearance sooner rather than later. The California Fire Alliance offers the following advice:

1. Create a zone 100 feet out from your house free of dead shrubs, branches, leaves and dried grass.

2. Trim and separate plants and shrubs.

3. Remove ladder fuels (low branches and plants that let ground fires climb into the trees).

4. Clear five feet around the base of the house and fill the space with fire-resistant plants and materials.

5. Make sure to maintain the cleared space on a regular basis.

More information: www.cafirealliance.com