Safeguard your home from wildfires

File photo/www.countynewscenter.com

AS temperatures rise this summer, it’s important to consider safeguarding your property from wildfires.

Wildfires are the biggest hazard in San Diego County and people should create 100 feet or more of defensible space around their homes and businesses.

Why is this so important? Reducing growth and clearing debris around your property can help minimize damage if a gust of wind carries a burning ember into the yard.

Assess your property’s vulnerability. What would the burning ember land on? Dried leaves in your gutter? The wood pile stacked against your garage? A tall plant that sits under an overgrown tree with overhanging branches on your roof? All of these could lead to fire.

Please note that during hot, dry conditions, such as when a red flag warning is issued, people should not attempt to use power tools to clear or reduce brush, as this could spark a fire that can spread to grass and other brush.

Home- and business-owners can create defensible space by:

  • Cutting grass down to a maximum of 4 inches high.
  • Raking up lawn litter such as leaves and pine needles.
  • Cleaning gutters of leaves and pine needles.
  • Using fire-resistant plants.
  • Leaving space between plants.
  • Creating “fuel breaks” with gravel walkways, driveways or lawns.
  • Thinning and pruning shrubs and tree limbs around your home, business.
  • Removing lower tree branches especially any dead ones or ones that overhang or touch your roof.
  • Moving flammable items such as wood stacks and propane tanks away from your home or business.
  • Disposing of tree trimmings and debris piles quickly.

Learn more about creating defensible space and other ways to prepare for wildfires by visiting https://www.alertsandiego.org/en-us/preparedness/wildfire.html.

(Yvette Urrea Moe/County of San Diego Communications Office) n

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