October 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Homeowners in hillside communities, you can help your firefighters by creating defensible space around your home as we experience our first Santa Ana Wind event of the season. There are currently Red Flag Warnings in effect and more to come as we head into dry, warm and windy weather over the next few days.
- Create a zone around your house that will slow the wildfire down and possibly direct it around your home. To do this, you must view your yard as a fuel source. Fire will only burn if fuel is present. Fuel can be your landscaping, woodpiles, decks, etc. To create your defensible space, take the following steps within 30 feet of your home, 50 feet if you live in a heavily treed area or 100 feet if your home is on a hillside (check with your local fire department).
- Remove dead or dying trees and shrubs.
- Keep trees and shrubs pruned. Branches should be a minimum of 6 feet from the ground and shrubs under trees should be no more than 18 inches high.
- Mow your lawn regularly and dispose promptly of cuttings and debris.
- Maintain your irrigation system. Clear your roof, gutters and eaves of debris.
- Trim branches so they do not extend over roof or near the chimney.
- Move firewood and storage tanks 50 feet away from home and clear areas at least 10 feet around them.
- Store flammable liquids properly.
- Do not connect wooden fencing directly to your home.
- Keep the grounds around your home free of pine needles, leaves and debris.
In the meantime, contact your local fire department for additional information.
Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna