Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor

Grassfire-Too Close to Home

It’s been just a few days since a grassfire and embers swept over a freeway sound wall and destroyed two homes in Fairfield. In a matter of minutes, a whole neighborhood had to be evacuated, lanes of eastbound Interstate 80 were closed, and firefighters from all over the area put it in high gear and won the upper hand on this fire. A cause may never be known. Amazingly, thankfully, no one was hurt.

But this fire illustrates how quickly things can go wrong. Our very dry winter and spring have left everything super parched — the wild grasses, landscape trees and shrubs, roofs and wood siding on houses. And it’s not even fire season in California yet.

So what are you doing about it? A recent editorial in The Reporter in Vacaville (“Give credit and take measures: Fire danger is high,” Aug. 29) put it well: “The fact that this happened in a residential neighborhood well inside the city limits should be a wake-up call to everyone who lives around here. No one can do anything about the winds that drove the flames — they show up just about every afternoon this time of year — but there are precautions property owners can take to reduce the chance of damage.”

Images of the massive Rim fire in Tuolumne County came to mind. Those firs and redwoods are going up like Roman candles. We in Solano County are justifiably proud of our big, beautiful landscape trees. But when it’s this dry, are they safe to have near your house?

The Reporter editorial goes on: “Start by looking at the trees in the yard. If the foliage is touching the ground, close to a bush or hanging over the house or patio, trim it.

“And consider what is planted in the yard. At different points Tuesday (the day of the fire), the fire got a boost from oily eucalyptus and flammable Italian cypress trees.”

The editorial suggested a visit to Cal Fire’s home-safety website, Readyforwildfire.org. I recommend we all take a look, and then stroll around our homes to see what we can do to reduce our risks of losing some or all of it. 

Redwood boughs hang over the roofline of this Vacaville home. Time to call a certified arborist! (photo by Kathy Thomas-Rico)
Redwood boughs hang over the roofline of this Vacaville home. Time to call a certified arborist! (photo by Kathy Thomas-Rico)

Posted on Friday, August 30, 2013 at 11:24 AM
Tags: damage (5), grassfire (1), houses (1), wind (2)

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