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From the November 2011 Battle Mountain News

posted Jul 3, 2014, 1:29 PM by Joe Christy

Fire Prevention Season Beginning

With over 5 inches of rain last month and the grass greening up, the risk of wildfire has diminished considerably, but not completely – the 2009 Loma Fire began in late October after that area had seen 10-12 inches of rain.

The cool damp fall weather does offer an opportunity to start working outside, in preparation for the beginning of backyard burn season in December. Remember that, to satisfy air quality regulations, the slash that you burn must be dry: material less than 2” in diameter must dry for 30 days, 2''-6'' for 60 days, and over 6” for 6 months.

Sudden Oak Death

There's another reason start clearing and cleaning up early: Sudden Oak Death (SODS). The microorganism that causes SODS, Phytopthora ramora, needs water and warmth to attack susceptible oaks, so the peak season for transmission is during late spring rains. While SODS kills mainly tanoaks and oaks, virtually all trees and woody shrubs in California can harbor it; bay laurel, rhododendrons, and camellias are especially dangerous that way. The best way to limit the spread is to lower the sources. The best way to neutralize Phytopthora is to dry it out – fire being the fastest drying physically possible. Finally, pruning scars on oaks and tanoaks require up to four months to seal themselves against Phytopthora.

If that weren't enough, infected tanoaks are particularly ignitable for about two years and the drought adaptations of native tanoaks and oaks allow some to appear healthy even after Phytopthora has girdled and killed them.

Time to get started!

November Meeting

Please join us 7pm Monday November 14th, at Bonny Doon Elementary School for our annual meeting. We will have fervid community activist Linda Colombo as our guest to talk about the Fire Safe experience in El Dorado county.

The purpose of the meeting though is to update the community on what we have accomplished, what we are working on, and what seems possible in the future.

Most importantly, we want to get your input on how you think we can protect our community, homes and environment from wildfire.


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