Sand Fire Serves as a Brush Clearance Reminder
Posted by Mitchell Englander on July 29, 2016 at 1:29 PM
Since last Friday, more than 3,000 firefighters have responded by ground and air to the fire that has scorched nearly 40,000 acres and is now 85% contained. Thank you to all the hard working men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, California Highway Patrol, and the many others who jumped into action to help put out this fire and save homes and lives in our community.
This fire is a reminder that we must continue to be vigilant by protecting homes from fire by safely clearing excess brush. Brush fires occur year round however, low rainfall, low humidity, and high temperatures create very dry conditions especially from May to December.
Remember that when clearing your brush, safety is very important. In recent years many brush fires have started by homeowners attempting to clear their brush. Many times, the sparks produced from metal blades on motorized equipment have started fires.
The following are simple guidelines for homeowners to follow to clear their brush safely:
- All grass and weeds within 200 feet of a structure shall be cut and maintained to a maximum height of 3 inches.
- Native brush/shrubs shall be trimmed up from the ground 1/3 their height and have a minimum separation of 18 feet from any structure and other native shrubs.
- Native shrubs shall not be planted within 10 feet of a combustible fence or roadway edge.
- Maintain all grass and weeds within 10 feet of a combustible fence or edge of roadway to a maximum height of 3 inches.
- Branches/foliage shall be trimmed up 5 feet from any roof surface.
- Branches/foliage shall be trimmed back 10 feet from outlet of the chimney.
- Always have a water source readily available. A fire extinguisher, garden hose or a few buckets of water.
- Avoid clearing brush during the peak temperatures of the day, between11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
- Only use properly maintained motorized equipment and have a spark arrester when required.
- Do not refuel motorized equipment while motor is running. Use approved fuel-dispensing containers only.
- Always make sure the hot exhaust on any motorized equipment is clear of any vegetation.
- Do not use metal blades on weed whackers/whips. Use nylon line or plastic blades instead.
- Always wear safety glasses and gloves. Hard hats and dust masks are recommended.
Click here for more information.
-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District