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Wildfire Preparedness

Now that California Wildfire Preparedness Week has come to a close, the time for fire-safe chores in anticipation of California’s long fire season has only begun.  Fire preparedness and landscape maintenance go hand-in-hand, since fire danger can be reduced through careful plant selections, sound planting strategies and critical horticulture maintenance.  These practices should all start with the state-mandated requirements providing 100 feet of defensible space.  Horticultural maintenance of your landscape is also just as important.  Dry, dead twigs and branches should be trimmed from plants and trees. Brush and thatch should be removed.  Despite the healthy ‘green’ color of certain non-native ground covers like ivy and periwinkle, the thatch found beneath them poses a serious fire risk unless this build-up is reduced.  Another tip in fire prevention around the yard is mulch.  Mulch decreases evaporative water loss, runoff and erosion problems.  Since leaves and pine needles are combustible, they should be replaced with compostable wood chips which do not pose a fire hazard.     For more information on wildfire preparedness, visit

Written by KVGC Saff


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