Spring Cleaning: Clear Out Brush, Avoid Fires Later

The hills are alive--with lush, green vegetation, thanks to the recent heavy rainfall. That means you need to start clearing the brush from around your home before it dries up and becomes a fire hazard.

According to our media partner, the North County Times, fire officials said they're advising Fallbrook-area residents to begin clearing the brush.

"We get some decent rainfall, a nice little sunny period, and everything's booming," said Fire Marshal Sid Morel. "People should be getting at it right now. You may have to do it again in May, but it'll still be cheaper than if you let it go."

"We're seeing that people are gaining a better understanding of it, and since the Rice fire, are doing a better job on their own to clear vegetation," said Morel. "But there's still a lot of problems out there."

The North County Fire Protection District and Fallbrook FireSafe Council have been pushing residents to clear brush more aggressively since the Gavilan fire in 2002, when fire officials say it became clear that a buffer zone can help save homes.

Current regulations state that landowners have to clear brush for 100 feet around structures, according to fire prevention specialist James Beebe.

"The seasonal grasses are going to be really, really bad this year," said Beebe. "We're going to have a pretty extensive amount of new foliage that we haven't seen in quite a while."

Beebe also said that having a buffer around your home makes it easier for firefighters to defend you during a wildfire like the Rice fire in 2007, which burned 219 homes on 9,500 acres in Fallbrook and De Luz.

For more information about brush-clearing methods and fire-resistant landscaping, contact the North County Fire Protection District at (760) 723-2010.

To read the complete article, click here.

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