Wildfire Awareness Week ends Friday, but the need for property owners in the Butte County foothills to ensure they have adequate defensible space around their homes is just beginning.
The California Fire Safe Council said record spring rainfall will spur the growth of annual grasses – one of the biggest contributors to wildland fires in urban interface areas.
Since January, rural properties which rely on the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for firefighting services are required to have 100 feet of defensible space around structures. Prior to that, defensible space was considered to be 30 feet.
The new requirement means property owners should prune tree branches away from roofs, clear roof debris and place fire resistant plants near structures.
The council emphasizes that it doesn’t mean creating a ring of bare dirt around a home.
To further promote safety awareness, the California Fire Safe Council distributed fliers earlier this week in dozens of newspapers, including the Enterprise-Record.
Local fire safe councils, including several in Butte County, can assist property owners with more information, which is available on the Web at www.firesafecouncil.org.