FIRESafe MARIN News

Wildfire Safety Blog and News from FIRESafe MARIN.

UC Master Gardener: Fire Smart Landscaping Tip

Right Plant, Right Place

U C Marin Master Gardeners always say to plant the “right plant in the right place” as a formula for success. In a fire-smart landscape there are no fire-resistant plants, since all plants can burn. Plants should be water wise and ecologically sound, well maintained and in good health. Add proper irrigation and maintenance, and keep them free of dead material and fallen leaves.

  • For easy maintenance and water savings, a good choice is California natives.
  • Choose pollinator-friendly, summer dry, and winter wet plants for our Marin Mediterranean climate.
  • Create a mosaic, a patchwork of plants within the garden.
  • Ensure the separation of shrubby bushes, perennials, and groundcovers using the right mulch, rock, or pavers.
  • Ensure fire-smart spacing of shrubby bushes by regularly pruning

A fire-smart landscape can preserve habitat, provide pollinator corridors, and enhance your home. Questions about creating a fire-smart landscape? Visit http://marinmg.ucanr.edu/Fire-smart_Landscaping/

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UC Marin Master Gardener: Fire-Smart Landscaping Tip

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Maintaining a Fire-Smart Landscape

Fall is a great time to do fire-smart maintenance. Here are some tips from UC Marin Master Gardeners:

  • Check gutters, roof, eaves, vents, and chimney for leaf and needle litter.
  • Remember to clear branches 10 feet from the roof.
  • Beyond 5 feet from all structures, apply composted wood mulch chips to feed the soil, control weeds in the spring, control soil erosion and enhance the appearance of your garden.
  • Separate wood mulched areas with noncombustible materials such as granite, gravel and stone to create fuel breaks, discouraging fire from traveling along a continuous path.
  • Rake-up and compost or remove fallen leaves and evergreen needles. The spots where leaves collect are where embers ignite a fire.
  • Remove dead vegetation and dry grasses.
  • Prune or remove plants to eliminate fuel ladders and to separate shrubs.

 Questions about creating a fire-smart landscape? Visit http://marinmg.ucanr.edu/Fire-smart_Landscaping/

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Climate, Environment and Wildfire Coalition

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As wildfires surged in 2017 and 2018 those of us in the climate and environmental community focused on the connection between wildfires and climate change. We noticed heat waves, melting snow earlier in the spring, alarming rise in state’s average temperature, and prolonged drought. Scientists agree that climate change has increased the length of the season and the frequency of extreme weather events. 

A leading climate scientist at University of California, Merced, estimated that the frequency of extreme wildfires would increase by nearly 50 percent if global greenhouse gas emissions continued at a high rate. At the same time other environmental organizations were raising concerns about the impact of wildfires on biodiversity and the ecology of Marin’s vegetation landscape.

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Biomass Recovery Study

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A working group of the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority/Ecologically Sound Practices Partnership has started a Biomass Recovery study, working in concert with resource haulers and processors, to identify responsible ways to manage the increased amounts of organic material being generated by both wildfire prevention activities and curbside collection programs. The Biomass Recovery study is based on the solution/proposal endorsed by Drawdown: Marin, a county-wide campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically and prepare the County for climate change impacts.

With the passage of Measure C and formation of the MWPA we are anticipating considerable growth in biomass generation. PG&E wildfire prevention plans call for hugely expanded tree trimmings and removal. Landowners costs for vegetation management are mushrooming.  Options are limited or unknown. The costs of transporting the woody biomass are substantial and the systems for handling are burdened.

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UC Marin Master Gardener: Fire-Smart Landscaping Tip

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Water Wise and Fire-Smart. 

Water is a precious resource in our drought prone climate. So, water wisely and make your garden fire-smart. Here’s what you can do:

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