The combination of dry air, high temps, and wind brings “fire season” to California. We all dread it, but it’s a fact of life. Luckily, taking action right now can help to prevent fires from reaching your home. Here’s what you need to know.
What are the greatest risk factors?
A fire can happen anywhere, but some trees are more susceptible. Scan your yard for the following:
- Trees with excessive leaf loss or entire branches without leaves
- Dry, brittle limbs that might be breaking off
- Frail bark that is dropping from the tree
- Rot or fungal growth, which weakens trees
These are signs of a dying tree, which poses a greater fire risk than healthier ones. It needs to be removed immediately.
Proper spacing is important, too.
While dead or dying trees pose the greatest risk, any tree can be susceptible to spreading wildfire. And when they’re packed too closely together, or are growing too close to your home, the risk multiplies. Look for:
- Proper horizontal spacing; branches from different trees should be at least 10 feet apart from one another, and 10 feet from your home or other structures
- On a moderate slope, increase that distance to 20 feet
- On a steep slope, tree limbs should be spaced about 30 feet apart
If limbs are growing closely together, we need to trim them back to reduce the risk of fire quickly spreading. Underbrush and bushes should be thinned, too.
Create defensible space.
A buffer zone around your home, cleared of thick vegetation, can prevent a fire from overcoming your home. Remove dead or dry vegetation from around the structure, trim back tree branches at least 10 feet from your home, and clear space between bushes, trees, and flammable items. Keep your grass cut to a maximum of four inches, and trim back overgrown tree branches.
The idea is that fires require kindling, and you definitely don’t want an abundance of kindling in your yard or around your home.
Call us, and we’ll make an appointment to come assess your property. If we see areas where tree trimming can prevent spreading wildfires, we can get that job done for you.