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Landscape Tips For a Fire Safe Home

Given the dangerously dry conditions we are now experiencing in the Mother Lode, here are some reminders for residents and businesses- defensible space is now of paramount importance.

Following these simple steps can dramatically increase the chance of your home surviving a wildfire:

Create a defensible space of 100 feet around your home. The goal is to protect your home while providing a safe area for firefighters.

Create a lean, clean, and green zone by removing all flammable vegetation within 30 feet immediately surrounding your home.

Create a reduced fuel zone in the remaining 70 feet, or to your property line.

Spacing between plants improves the chance of stopping a wildfire. Create horizontal and vertical spacing between plants. The amount of space will depend on how steep the slope is and the size of the plants.

Large trees do not have to be cut and removed as long as all of the plants beneath them are removed. This eliminates a vertical "fire ladder."

Remove lower branches at least six feet from the ground. Landscape with fire resistant plants. Maintain all plants with regular water, and remove dead branches, leaves, and needles.

When clearing vegetation, use care in operating equipment such as lawnmowers. One small spark may start a fire.

Mother Lode specific Fire Prevention information can be found on MyMotherLode.Com/Living With Fire

Many University of California Cooperative Extension county Web sites provide lists of fire resistant plants and other resources specific to your location, UC Davis Firesafe Planting List, or contact your local Master Gardener Program Tip by Donna Seaver