Creating defensible space to protect Marin’s homes from wildfires
Julie McMillan (MWPA Board Vice President)
This article describes the actions of the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority (MWPA) and important steps for homeowners to reduce wildfire risk.
"Since the 1960s, California law has required that homeowners do fuel modification around their homes. Local jurisdictions have had similar rules for more than 100 years. According to Todd Lando, Central Marin Fire Department’s hazard mitigation specialist, “burning homes produce enormous amounts of embers, far greater than vegetation fires. So a key to preventing catastrophic megafires is keeping homes at the edge of the WUI from igniting.” All homeowners need to create and maintain defensible space to help protect their homes from wildfire. Here are the steps to take:
• Zone 0. In the 5-foot perimeter surrounding your house — the most vulnerable area and should be more aggressively maintained for fire resistance — remove all combustible materials, including plants, organic mulch and dry leaves, from your roof and gutters. Relocate garbage and recycling containers, trash, firewood, patio accessories, natural fiber doormats and combustibles under decks."
Images by Anne Crealock, MWPA