We’d all like to believe that staying home will keep us safe. While that can certainly be true in regard to the novel coronavirus, those who live in Redding know that natural disasters can still threaten your health. And in some cases, human intervention can make those disasters even more deadly. Wildfires are not a new phenomenon for California residents, but they are certainly becoming more prevalent and more destructive thanks to climate change and our own recklessness. Below, we’ll discuss the most recent wildfire developments that are pertinent to homeowners and business owners here, as well as some basic tips you can follow to protect your property.
The Growing Threat of California Wildfires
In recent years, wildfires throughout the state of California have made national news. California wildfires destroyed 259,823 acres of land in 2019 alone, with hundreds of structures reported as either damaged or decimated. This year has been proven to be even more horrific. As of September 14, 2020, 3.7 million acres of land had been burned by wildfires, representing more than 3.7% of all land in the state. With three months left in the year, it’s already the largest wildfire season in recorded history. In some areas, separate wildfires have even converged to cause massive blazes that are nearly impossible to contain. Tragically, at least 25 people have died and over 7,000 structures have been burned or totally ruined. And while evacuation orders have been issued in many areas, the ongoing pandemic has made it difficult for many to get to safety.
How to Protect Your Property From Wildfires in Redding, CA
It’s important that if you’re located in an evacuation zone that you leave your property and get to a safe area. But there are some steps you can take to minimize the chances that your property will incur damage or destruction during a wildfire. Here are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind.
Partake in Lot Clearing: Lot clearing is an important aspect of firescaping. It involves ridding your property of tree stumps, vegetation, and even trees around your home. Although no one enjoys the thought of getting rid of healthy trees, it’s important that you create what’s called a “defensible space” that includes fire breaks. This type of firescaping will remove anything that could act as kindling for a wildfire. This step is also essential if you have an empty plot of land that you intend to use for any type of construction project. Not only can clearing the lot protect any existing structures on your land, but it can also keep a fire from spreading to other areas.
Invest in Fire-Resistant Landscaping: In addition to removing stumps, trees, and other vegetation, you’ll want to participate in other kinds of firescaping. This involves creating specific “zones” around your property that contain features like hardscaping and plant species that can impede a wildfire’s progress. For example, the closest zone to your home can include concrete patios, low-growing perennials and annuals, irrigated lawns, or deciduous (non-flammable) trees. As you get further away from the home itself, firescaping rules change to include spread out trees, pruned plants, gardens, and ground cover with a high moisture content. Being strategic about your firescaping can slow the spread of a wildfire in a purposeful way.
Clear Debris From Your Gutters and Roof: It’s also recommended that you keep your home itself clear of flammable debris. FEMA advises that homeowners clear dry leaves and other debris from their gutters and roofs on a regular basis. In addition, it’s a good idea to close in decks, eaves, or other structural openings to keep wildfire embers from flying in. Having your roof and gutters professionally inspected twice per year can help, but it’s also up to each individual homeowner to frequently clear out this debris to minimize fire risk. Keeping tree branches and bushes trimmed and pruned away from the home — or removing them entirely as part of the firescaping process — can cut down on this debris while reducing your overall risk of wildfire damage.
Wildfires are a very real threat for Californians. For more on how you can protect your property with our services, please get in touch with the professionals at A-1 Tree Service & Stump Removal today by calling (530) 221-9427.