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From the May 2014 Battle Mountain News

posted Jul 7, 2014, 11:24 AM by Joe Christy

Fire Season Continues, Be Prepared

Ordinarily at this time I'd be telling you that fire season is coming, but last year it never ended. Consequently it is more important than ever to be prepared.

CAL FIRE has begun its annual LE-100 inspections of defensible space around your house, so it's time to be sure that your landscaping is low lean and green, cut the grass within 30' of your home to 4” & that within 100' to 12”, prune up drooping branches and clear our dead limbs and scrub between 30' and 100' of your home. That should prepare your property to be defended safely in a wildfire.

Even more important it to be sure that your home itself is Fire Safe; a home that doesn't ignite in a a wildfire doesn't need to be defended. Work from the roof downward: clean leaf litter off the roof and in the gutters, be sure that your vents are screened against embers, ideally with 1/8” or tighter mesh. Sweep off your decks and remove anything flammable from beneath them. If you want more advice, or are uncertain that you've got everything covered, remember that the Fire Safe Council has NFPA certified inspectors who will come to your home for a free Home Ignition Zone consultations; contact us below if your interested.

The wildfire danger to your home escalates dramatically when your neighbor's home ignites. When you've finished preparing your home and property, take a look your neighbors and offer to help them do the same.

Finally plan for evacuation. Make sure that the exit/access roads in your neighborhood are cleared to a width of 5' to 10' from the side if the road. Collect your family photos and heirlooms, important documents, &c in easily portable boxes. Plan where you will go if evacuated, and how to maintain contact with family and friend through an out of town contact. Make a plan for evacuating your pets and livestock; Santa Cruz County Equine Evacuation Unit,, can help you with that,be your livestock equine or not. Be aware of the frail and elderly in your neighborhood and be ready to help them.

Thanks Where Thanks s Due

As we mentioned last month our Cotoni Fuel Break project on Empire Grade is now finished and I'd like to thank those who made it possible: the crews and captains of Ben Lomond Camp, Dianna Adams of CAL FIRE and Abigail Adams of POST; monitors Cobe Chatwood, Gary Conway, Frank Crossman, Jack Heintz, Al Huber, Andre Lafleur, Magda Macmillan, Susan Mason, Marc Roddin, Kelly Runyon, Lonny Schwartz, Ted Vian, and Claudia Webster; BDFSC board members Joe Christy, Paul Gabriel, Nadia Hamey, Kim Hayes, Andy Hubbs, Ilana King, Steve Pizzo, Tom Scully, and Alec Webster; Braemoor residents Jeff Alford, Rich Hansen, Dennis Mozeleski, Lee Otter, randy Richter, Kerry Veenstra, Lad and Lisa Wallace; contractors Mike Filbin of Central Coast Land Clearing and Joe Granda of Decks And More Construction; the US Forest Service (an equal opportunity employer) for grant 12USFS-WUI207, Liron Galliano and Margaret Grayson of the California Fire Safe Council, Thadyne Borchert of the Soquel Fire Safe Council; landowners Peninsula Open Space Trust and Sempervirens Fund, Crest Ranch Christmas Tree Farm, Ken Jensen, Louise Moran, and Bob Wolbert.