Defensible space means fire safe
Lightning strikes the last few days are keeping firefighters busy mopping up spot fires in the hills around Truckee.Those bolts streaking down from the skies should also serve as a reminder to all of us who live in a highly fire-prone area: Fire season is far from over. Yes, it may already be mid-August and we may have had some sprinkles lately and we did have a wet spring, but September and October – the dry dog days of California’s fire season – are still ahead.With that in mind, what have you done to make your home fire safe? State fire law now requires a 100-foot defensible space around homes under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Forestry. While fire officials won’t be enforcing the new law immediately, they will be enforcing the old 30-foot law and educating residents about 100-foot clearance.Ditto for the Truckee Fire Protection District. While Truckee’s requirement officially still stands at 30 feet, officials are advising residents of the new state law and informing them that insurance companies can require a 100-foot area of defensible space in their policies.And no, this doesn’t mean you have to have a treeless dirt swath ringing your home. There are plenty of ways to make your property fire safe with attractive landscaping and good pruning.For more information on defensible space, visit the CDF Web site at http://www.fire.ca.gov or call the Truckee Fire Prevention District at 582-7850, which offers a free chipping program.Those of you that already have your limbs cut and brush cleared, the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County is offering defensible space drop-off days. Bring limbs, small trees and brush, separate from leaves and pine needles, to the various locations listed below from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at no charge.Aug. 20 – Kingvale, Plavada, Donner Summit at Sewer Park off Bristle Cone Road in PlavadaAug. 27 – Soda Springs at Soda Springs Ski ResortOct. 15 – Glenshire and Juniper Hills at the Glenshire ClubhouseSept. 10 – Highway 89 North area, Prosser, Sierra Heights, Alder Creek Road at Hobart MillsDon’t wait for a fire to be lit under your rear-end before you become fire safe.