Fire safety has grown exponentially important for California residents over the last several years. Here in Santa Cruz county, we have experienced firsthand the impact that wildfires can have within the community. Fire safety is a year-round effort and during these winter months there are several measures you can take to proactively combat against future potential fire hazards in your landscape. This is a friendly reminder to evaluate your property.

Planning ahead is one of the most crucial steps in fighting against fire safety for your home and its never too early to prepare. Now is when weeds are developing and growing so by the time the dry season comes about, they will make for ideal kindling. Grass meadows and naturalized areas that are adjacent to homes and buildings should be mowed on a regular basis during the growing seasons. It’s important to pay attention to these types of areas and make plans now to keep them mowed this fire season. Santa Cruz has been getting some extreme weather this winter, with a mix of rain, wind and sun we should all prepare for another difficult fire season.

If you are looking to hire a contractor to help with your fire prevention maintenance, now is the time to start looking for your team. Many of the tree service companies and mowing contractors have large backlogs right now, if you wait until you need them it may be too late. Your local fire marshal can help provide information on how to prepare your home and property for fire season. Much of the work can be done now and should not be put off until the fire season begins.

It’s easy to neglect landscaping maintenance when the weather is cold and wet, but don’t let that prevent you from staying on top of defensible space within your property. Clear out dead brush and drying piles today before the warm weather creeps up on us. See if you can create a 30’ buffer of very little plants or trees around your dwelling to achieve that defensible space. For more specifics on how to create defensible space in your property, visit Cal Fire’s website or check out our previous blog on Fire-Safe Landscaping.

It is our responsibility as residents to keep our homes and community safe from potential fire hazards and you can never be too prepared. Stay diligent with your property and plan ahead with these steps!