Fire season seems almost year-round now in California, but late summer is usually the peak and therefore an excellent time to review steps to “firescape” your yard and protect your home.
Armstrong Garden Centers, which is offering classes Saturday at stores throughout the state, provided these tips for homeowners:
- Know your plants and research their fire retardant abilities.
- Replace flammable trees and shrubs with fire-resistant varieties.
- Immediately remove any dead, diseased or dying trees or shrubs.
- Create a wide “firebreak” around your home by removing brush and dried grass from the perimeter of your property.
- Dense brush means more fire fuel. Keep shrubs and trees thinned out, and keep skirts removed from palms.
- Keep irrigation systems in working order and check regularly for adequate coverage in case of an emergency.
- Eliminate large, overhanging branches from driveways that could restrict fire vehicles.
- Keep landscape in good condition, including responsibly watering plants or removing dried grass and replacing with a fire-resistant ground cover.
- Feed plants and shrubs with organic fertilizers. This reduces quick, soft growth that often results from high-nitrogen chemical fertilizers.
- Keep roofs and gutters free of dead leaves and other debris.
“While no plant is fireproof, simple firescaping can be the solution, from choosing plants with fire retardant abilities to knowing proper defensible landscape maintenance to keeping irrigation systems in excellent shape,” said Armstrong Garden Centers Regional Manager Eric Asakawa. “Vegetation can either lead a fire to a structure, or stop it.”
The classes Saturday start at 9 a.m. and are open to the public without advance registration.
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