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   These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:
  • Image makeover needed: In the soon-to-be-released grand jury report, the jurors said the county’s Alcohol and Drug and Mental Health departments are suffering from a poor public image.
  • Help at the jail: The Board of Supervisors approved the sheriff’s request to hire four corrections officers, but not before reminding him the county is facing a $3 million budget problem.
  • Water disaster?: The state has already enacted emergency conservation measures. The county is thinking about declaring a local disaster as well.

CalFire urges homeowners to maintain defensible space

Feather Publishing
4/11/2014

CalFire inspectors have begun conducting defensible space inspections throughout the 31 million acres of state responsibility area (SRA) in California.

“Creating and maintaining defensible space is critical for the protection of homes,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CalFire director. “It has never been more critical to strengthen our fire prevention efforts in light of the elevated fire conditions we have been experiencing in California. We have increased our inspection staffing and now we need the public to make sure they, too, are prepared for the increased fire risk due to drought.”

Defensible space inspections are supported by the SRA fire prevention fee, which is an annual fee assessed to rural residents for fire prevention activities in the SRA. The fire prevention fee resulted from a law signed by Gov. Brown in 2011 that imposed a fee on residents owning habitable structures in the SRA.

California Public Resources Code 4291 requires homeowners living in the SRA to maintain 100 feet of defensible space around structures. CalFire inspectors will be educating residents and evaluating properties to make sure they are in compliance with state law.

Here are some tips that can help homes survive wildfires:

—Maintain 100 feet of defensible space around all structures.

—Clear all needles and leaves from roofs, eaves and rain gutters.

—Trim branches 6 feet from the ground.

—Use trimming, mowing and power equipment before 10 a.m.

—Landscape with fire-resistant and drought-tolerant plants that require little water.

—Remove branches near roofs and within 10 feet of a chimney.

—Keep woodpiles and flammable materials at least 30 feet from the home.

—Use fire ignition resistant building material.

For more information on preparing for wildfires and defensible space visit ReadyForWildfire.org.


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