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Creating and Maintaining a Fire Safe Landscape Presented by Robin Stanley UCCE Master Gardener Mark Stanley California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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Presentation on theme: "Creating and Maintaining a Fire Safe Landscape Presented by Robin Stanley UCCE Master Gardener Mark Stanley California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Creating and Maintaining a Fire Safe Landscape Presented by Robin Stanley UCCE Master Gardener Mark Stanley California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection Sponsored by University of California Cooperative Extension/El Dorado Master Gardeners

3 Fire Safe Landscaping What do you know now? What is your current level of risk? What are you willing to spend to be safe? –Money –Time How much can you afford to lose?

4 Know the Basics of Fire Fuel + Oxygen + Heat = Fire Which of these 3 can you control?

5 Fuel Is… Dry or dead vegetation Wood siding, roofing, decking Trees Woody shrubs or perennials Firewood and kindling

6 Fuel Heat Oxygen Fire Triangle Fire Triangles Topography Wind Weather Fire Environment Triangle Fuel Heat Oxygen Fire Triangle

7 The New Law Things Have Changed: –The new state law extends the defensible space from 30 to 100. –That doesnt sound like much - just 70 - but compare an: area with 30 clearance = 2826 ft 2 vs. area with 100 clearance = ft 2 11 times more area

8 What Does the Law Say? Spacing depends on slope, height of vegetation and fire risk. –Steeper slope = more spacing –Higher vegetation = more spacing –Higher fire risk = more spacing Identify the two zones: Defensible Space Zone Reduced Fuel Zone

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10 Spacing 4 ft. to 40 ft depending on slope and vegetation type and size 10 ft. to 30 ft. depending on slope and vegetation type and size 4 ft to 40 ft. depending on slope and vegetation size/type

11 What Would You Do? Do you know how slope affects fire? –Moves more quickly –Burns more intensely Uphill flames preheat the fuel ahead. Clearance of up to 200 may be advised.

12 The Fire Safe 3 Rs These arent the same ones you may remember from school (but you will use some old high school math). Sonoma County FSC suggests you think about your own property and what you need to: REMOVE REDUCE REPLACE

13 EDC Fire Safe Council A Step by Step Guide 1.Determine your DEFENSIBLE SPACE. 2.Remove DEAD or DYING vegetation. 3.Break up CONTINUOUS vegetation. 4.Eliminate LADDER FUELS. 5.Make your defensible space LEAN, GREEN and MEAN. 6.Keep up with regular MAINTENANCE.

14 Creating Your Own Defensible Space Its up to you to control the fuel.

15 Create Your Own Spacing

16 Understanding the Fire Ladder Fuel-break - trim and space plants Fuel mosaic - island plantings Trees – keep 15 or more from house Location - slope, canyons, ridges, prevailing winds

17 Breaks in Fuel

18 Landscaping Mosaic

19 Defensible Space Does Work!

20 Water Availability & Needs What type of irrigation system will your water supply support? – Do you have a high or low water pressure system? – Is it affordable and water wise? Do you have a well or public water? – Is your well head fireproofed? – Are your public water lines and supply protected from fire? Is your water supply dependent on public utilities?

21 The Hydro-zoning Concept Consider water needs and fire safety as you plan/revitalize your landscape: High water zone - Oasis Moderate water zone Drought-tolerant plant zone

22 Understand the Zones

23 High Water Zone

24 Transition Zone

25 Low Water Zone

26 Plant Lists for El Dorado Co. Check out the Master Gardener website. Know your elevation and microclimate when making your plant selection. Realize that plants are not fire- retardant; they can be fire-resistive. Irrigation and maintenance are key factors in your choice of landscape plants.

27 Flowers and Groundcovers Yarrow Rock Rose Candytuft Periwinkle Creeping Rosemary Perennial Verbena

28 Shrubs and Vines Star Jasmine Toyon Ceanothus Escalonia Clematis armandii

29 Maintenance is Crucial! Simple, well maintained landscapes are safer than elaborate landscapes that are neglected. Prune deadwood from beneath ground covers and shrubs. Remove fire (fuel) ladders. Youll improve appearance and maintain safety at the same time.

30 Maintenance Tasks Pruning Litter reduction Weed control Re-vegetation Mowing Removal of…FUEL

31 Our Mantra All will be in vain… if you dont maintain!

32 Realities of Firefighting How can you improve the odds of your home surviving a fire? A word from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection…

33 The Realities of Fire Fighting The decision tree for a fire captain…… Can I get my engine and crew in and out safely? Road clearance Overhanging trees Bridges Other hazards

34 Narrow Driveway Propane Tank Overhanging Trees

35 Narrow road Overhanging trees Is there a way out?

36 Good Safe Access Is Important for YOU & the Fire Department

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38 How you build and maintain your home and property can make a difference! Remember…

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40 Do the Math… +LEAN, GREEN and MEAN +DEFENSIBLE SPACE - DEAD or DYING FUELS - CONTINUOUS VEGETATION - LADDER FUELS +MAINTENANCE = A FIRE SAFE LANDSCAPE

41 Grass, weeds small shrubs – 40 degree slope +3 Rough terrain in the area +1 Shrubs, small trees degree slope +4 History of fire in the area +1 Timber wood- land +3 Less than 1 home/10 ac +1 Extreme fire weather +1 1 – 10 degree slope +1 1 home per ac +2 Good water, roads, signs – 20 degree slope +2 1 home per 0-5 ac. +3 Strict local fire ordinances -1

42 Resources UCCE Master Gardeners California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Firewise U.C. Forest Products Lab Sunset Magazine El Dorado Co. Fire Safe Council edcfiresafe.org Will Your Home Survive? By R. D. Harrell & William C. Teie California Wildfire Landscaping by Maureen Gilmer

43 The Real Test – Short Term What would you like to change? What are you willing to do? Identify 3 things you can do to make your landscape and home safer!

44 The Real Test – the Long Term Nature is not static. Maintenance is crucial. Action today is just a start. Make a commitment and share your commitment with others.

45 Thank You for Coming! If you feel like we have been preaching to the choir – maybe you can share our sermon with your friends and neighbors.


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