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Early fire season means preparation

Daily Planet staff reports
Tuesday May 29, 2001

The Berkeley Fire Department announced last week that it is gearing up for an early fire season and recommends property owners establish a 30-foot safety zone around their homes and structures by doing the following:  

• Clearing flammable vegetation around structures. Hillsides should be cleared between 100-200 feet, because flames travel faster and hotter up slope.  

• Removing vines from the walls of homes.  

• Moving shrubs and other landscaping away from the sides of the house.  

• Pruning branches and shrubs within 10 feet of chimneys and stovepipes.  

• Trimming tree branches so that leaves or needles are at least 8’ from the ground.  

• Thinning a 10-foot space between tree crowns.  

• Replacing highly flammable vegetation such as pine, eucalyptus, juniper and fire trees with lower growing, less flammable species.  

• Clearing the area of leaves, brush, pinecones and dead limbs. and fallen trees.