After the deadly and massively destructive wildfires the past seasons, all of us are alerted to the importance of being fire-wise and better prepared. But, what can each of us do at our homes and in our community to prevent the same from happening here? The links below are excellent, practical resources to review and adopt. And at our GPOA Annual Meeting on April 30th (see attachment) you can learn and ask questions of Fire Department experts.
In the links below:
- Look at the list of flammable trees (e.g, pines, cypress, cedars, acacias) and flammable plants (e.g., junipers, rosemary, bamboo, dead wood) that ignite most readily and enhance our fire risk. These are the ones best to remove in our gardens and our community medians and parks.
- See the list of less flammable, alternative plants and trees which are better choices when replacing trees or plants, re-designing our gardens, and maintaining them (e.g., ‘ pruning trees’ away from our homes and roofs, eliminating ‘fire ladders’ that connect ground covers to shrubs and then to lower limbs of trees.)
- Learn ways to ‘harden’ our homes to resist ignitions by the primary culprit, embers/fire brands (e.g., with fire resistant roofing, clearing of leaves on roofs, replacing the vents around the base of our homes and in our soffits with tested and approved new vents.)
- Learn why and how to create critical ‘defensible space’ around your home and how, in our community, this also requires coordinating with your immediate neighbors to do this effectively.
To protect our beautiful and cherished community medians and parks, County Service Area 16 (CSA 16) professionals, under the informed and helpful guidance of Fire Department experts, have begun shrub and tree pruning and clearing activities.
Really helpful links:
- Our county’s ‘Firesafe Marin’ guidelines for preparation for homes and communities: http://www.firesafemarin.org/preparedness
- The national FireWise program’s guidelines on preparation. Excellent guidelines and checklist, too: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Wildfire/Preparing-homes-for-wildfire
- Our Fire Department and County Parks will help us to become a FireWise USA Site: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Wildfire/Firewise-USA/Become-a-Firewise-USA-site
- Marin County is creating FireWise USA sites faster than any other US county: https://bit.ly/2YG9GDk
- Our County Supervisors recently funded an additional wildland fire crew for fire prevention: https://www.marinij.com/2019/03/27/marin-to-add-wildland-fire-crew-for-fire-prevention/
We hope you will attend our GPOA Annual meeting , Tuesday , April 30th, at 7 pm at the Central Marin Police Community Meeting Room. Fire Department experts will discuss and answer questions on how to manage our garden vegetation and ‘harden’ our homes to resist embers, the main culprit in structural fires.
Scott Sherman, GPOA Landscaping Chairman