As I work here at my computer and watch the thermometer climb past the century mark I am reminded of the fire danger here in the Crescenta Valley.
Some of the most striking images from the Sayre Fire two summers ago were the helicopter videos of homes ablaze a mile from the fire front, ignited by windborne embers
This serves as a reminder that that no home is truly safe even in town and not at the edge of the brush covered hillsides. Fortunately there are some simple steps that we can take to help protect our homes.
First, and most importantly, if you live adjacent to brush-covered hills make sure that your brush clearance is up to standard. If you have any questions, the Fire Department will be glad to advise. The Crescenta Valley Fire Safe Council has a wealth of information available and Roger Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
If your home has a wood shake or shingle roof you should consider replacing it with fire resistant material such as Class A composition roofing or concrete shakes. Wood is no longer permitted in most areas because the shingles rapidly catch fire and spread burning embers.
Branches should be trimmed away from the house. The roof and rain gutters should be clear of leaves. Embers which lodge in dry leaves can smolder and then burst into flame, setting the house afire.
Wood piles, debris, dead branches, and leaves, can provide perfect fuel beds for flying fire brands and should be cleaned up. The same goes for ornamental plants which have become overgrown or woody.
Attic vents, foundation vents and similar openings should be screened. If not they can provide entry for wind-blown embers which then smolder for hours before igniting the house from the inside.
Finally, don’t forget to change your smoke detector batteries when you set the clocks back this fall.
These precautions will help keep your home safe from the next wildfire.
Question: When does a contractor need to be licensed?
Answer: Anyone who contracts to perform work on a project that is valued at $500 or more for labor and materials must hold a valid contractor’s license. Visit www.cslb.ca.gov/Consumers/ for more information.