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We used to refer to “Fire Season” as the summer months. Fires would usually start in July and keep us on our toes until October. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case and thanks to global warming and arson, fire season is now year round.

Summer doesn’t end in September. We now have the hot and dry “Summer” weather from June to November causing plants to dry out and brush to become more hazardous.

Several decades ago, a large fire was about 15,000 acres, today it is common for a fire to be 100,000 acres.

So, what can you do to be prepared?

1. Contact your local fire department and ask about the local fire danger levels in your community. Many fire departments will do an exterior high-fire hazard inspection of your home.

2. Register your cell phone for a reverse 911 call which will notify you of a wildfire in your area. You’ll be called with instructions and information. In San Diego, cell phones can be registered with the AlertSanDiego emergency notification system at

3. Create a defensible space around your home. Defensible space is the 100 foot radius zone around your property. Trim back all trees or branches that hang over or touch your roof. Keep plants and trees trimmed and remove all dry branches, bushes, shrubs and vegetation. Did you know that some plants are more fire resistant than others?

4. Keep all flammable materials at least 50 feet away from your home. These items include firewood, paint cans, propane tanks and debris.

5. If your home has a wood roof, replace it with ignition resistant roofing materials.

6. If the exterior of your home is made of wood siding or other combustible home siding, replace it with fire-resistant materials such as stucco, brick, fiber-cement or wood products factory-treated with fire retardant.

7. Inspect your home (including decks) for any signs of dry rot and repair these areas. Decaying wood is very flammable.

8. Review your home insurance policy. Do you have enough coverage? Every year, the cost to rebuild a home can change. Maybe you’ve made some upgrades that your current home policy doesn’t cover? The cost of labor and materials may have increased since your last policy review.

Although we can’t prevent the wildfires from coming, you can be proactive and take action to protect your family and your home.


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