Justin White, Landscaping Lessons | Part 4: Preparing for Wildfire Season – Santa Cruz Sentinel

Hope you are all working on fire hardening your home and improving the security of your property. We know all too well how quickly a fire can start and spread, so it’s important to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you. The completion of this multi-part series will cover the outer area of ​​the defensible space for fire protection – Zone 2. While each of the three zones has specific instructions, they all exhort the same purpose: to reduce the spread of wildfires and the ability of embers to start.

I spoke to a customer recently and found it difficult to get home insurance for their property. I explained that in a forest fire, the fire tends to spread through the embers that are blown around in the wind. These embers can be carried in the wind for miles and blown under decks and other flammable surfaces, causing your building to catch fire. Even if you don’t have many trees around your home, it’s still important to keep your property clean and in good condition in the event a fire breaks out nearby.

“Zone 2 extends 9 to 30 feet from buildings, structures, decks, etc., or up to your property line, whichever is closer.”

Here are some ideas you can use to harden your property in Zone 2:

If you have natural land on your property, it is important that the grass and weeds are cut to a height of four inches. Typically, you need to mow three to four times a season to keep the grass from becoming a hazard.

Make space between bushes and undergrowth. We don’t always want to clear our land, especially since this can lead to erosion problems in winter. What’s better than clear-cutting is carefully removing shrubs and plants so you have space between them. When installing a new landscape, be sure to leave space between the plants in your design.

Remove any leaves, needles, and small twigs that collect in this area. These elements can easily catch fire from these flying embers. You can be a little less strict in zone 2 and piling the leaves up to 3 inches before removing them. Remember that in Zone 0 & 1 you should remove leaves at least every week.

In previous articles I mentioned that you shouldn’t be storing your firewood in Zone 0 or 1, so where do you put it? Well, it goes into zone 2. The best thing you can do is to clear 10 feet in each direction of the pile of wood to the bare ground. This gives you the best chance of putting out a fire if the pile of wood becomes entangled.

Fire safety has become a priority here in California and as conscious members of the community it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to fight flames. Readiness and proactivity are the first steps, so take these defensible space tactics to heart and let’s help protect our homes.

Justin White is CEO of K&D Landscaping, headquartered in Watsonville, California, and was named Business of the Year 2020 by the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce. White is also the current president of the local California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) on the central coast. He is involved in several nonprofit organizations across the community. For more information on landscaping, outdoor and gardening needs, please contact K&D Landscaping at kndlandscaping.com.

Comments are closed.