Wildfire Safety

No one can deny it – this was a less than stellar snow season and we are in a serious drought.  For much of the state, calendar year 2013 was the driest year in recorded history and 2014 is not looking better thus far.  Our state receives about half of its precipitation in the months of December, January and February, with much of that precipitation falling as snow in the Sierra. Our typical large winter storms can make the difference between a wet year and a dry one.

The upcoming wildfire season, which is always a concern in our heavily forested part of the state, is expected to be extremely tough this year.  Ground cover is as dry as kindling, and the season is expected to start earlier and last longer than it usually does.  The Angora Fire in South Lake Tahoe in 2007, led to the loss of 256 structures in the four-day blaze, all because of a neglected camp fire.  Because of that fire, some homeowners in our area are having difficulties maintaining or acquiring home insurance from many companies.  And all insurance companies are becoming stricter in terms of homeowner responsibility in the face of imminent wildfire threat.

One of the best ways to satisfy your insurance carrier and keep your home and family safe is to maintain what is known as “defensible space” around your property.  You can take on this task yourself  – it’s not difficult for most – or hire one of the many local companies who specialize in it.  If you need names of some, don’t hesitate to call us.

You’ll find a lot of useful information at readyforwildfire.org that will also help you become “fire ready”, from defensible space information to what to do with livestock and pets and even an evacuation guide should you need it.  Hopefully, you will not, but as they say, “better to be safe than sorry”.