Early fire season puts pressure on home owners to prepare

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA — So far in 2021, we have seen 1,575 fires with a total of 3,531 acres consumed.

This is already almost ­double compared to last year at this same time, where we had 938 fires with 1,166 acres consumed.

Prevention is the only key to protect your property from wildfire threats. We have witnessed those homes that were hardened and had defensible space stand the test to some of California’s worst fires over the past few years.

Please click here for valuable information to assist you with prevention efforts and help make our communities a safe place for all.

With the fuel moisture in the vegetation already like what we usually experience in July, the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District has set May 15 as the date for compliance.

Defensible space inspectors will be looking at the following items in regard to defensible space and weed abatement. They should be your priority.

0-30 feet

Remove all dead plants, grass and weeds (vegetation).

Remove dead or dry leaves and pine needles from yard, roof and rain gutters.

Remove branches that hang over the roof and keep dead branches 10 feet away from chimney.

Trim trees regularly to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.

Relocate wood piles to 30 feet away.

Remove or prune flammable plants and shrubs near windows.

Remove vegetation and items that could catch fire from around and under decks.

Create a separation between trees, shrubs and items that could catch fire, such as patio furniture, wood piles, swing sets, etc.

30-100 feet

Cut or mow annual grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches.

Create horizontal space between shrubs and trees.

Create vertical space between grass, shrubs and trees.

Remove fallen leaves, needles, twigs, bark, cones and small branches. However, they may be permitted to a depth of 3 inches.

Remove logs or stumps embedded in the soil or isolate them from other vegetation.

Outbuildings and liquid propane gas (LPG) storage tanks shall have 10 feet of clearance to bare mineral soil and no flammable vegetation for an additional 10 feet around their exterior.

Address numbers shall be displayed in contrasting colors (4-inch minimum size) and readable from the street or access road.

Equip chimney or stovepipe openings with a metal screen having openings between 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch.

For more information, please visit the Fire Prevention link at www.eccfpd.org.