May 15, 2003 -- Reduce nature's fuel. Without fuel, a fire won't burn. So look around your house for potential sources of fuel and reduce them. Trees and plants that have a lot of dry foliage - acacia, cedar, cypress, eucalyptus, juniper, pampas grass and pine to name a few - are particularly hazardous. Keep them well pruned and avoid growing them in clusters. Some fire resistant trees are - maple, aspen, cottonwood, willow, alder, dogwood, ash, locust walnut and oaks.

The maintenance of an adequate clearance of flammable vegetation around buildings has been proven to be one of the most important factors in wild fire survival. California resource code requires clearance of flammable vegetation for a minimum distance of 30 feet to 100 feet around any structure located in a fire hazardous area. Clearing around buildings provides a defensible perimeter.

Grass, weeds and low-growing native plants should be mowed close to the ground.

Replace weeded areas with fire-resistant plants. Check with your licensed landscape company for your best options.

Trees within the 100 foot area should have limbs trimmed 6 feet from the ground, dead limbs and low foliage removed. Base vegetation should be removed to prevent a ground fire from "crowning" into a tree.

Remove that portion of any tree that extends within 10 feet of the outlet of any chimney or stovepipe.

Remove sick, dying and dead trees.

Thin out or clean up trees with excessive deadwood.

Thin highly flammable trees such as pine, cypress, juniper and eucalyptus 25%.


Santa Ynez Valley Tree Care
P.O. Box 1147, Santa Ynez, California 93460

(805) 688-5580

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