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.