We have had three years straight of heavy, late rains, and now this dry year. We have our hills, with windy, narrow roads and heavy vegetation.
Do not think that your urban-looking neighborhood is immune. Mine wasn't. Sparks fly in dry winds -- do you have a fire safe roof? Do you have landscaping under your eaves that could ignite and set your whole house on fire in minutes through your attic? Juniper bushes, for example, are oily and dry, and they burn long and hot. If your yard is full of junipers, and a major fire occurs, you can kiss your house and probably your neighbors' houses, goodbye. Are juniper jungles worth it?
In a major event, no one will be able to pour water on your home. In California, with homes often no more than 10 feet apart, fires spread easily house to house. Do you have good insulation and double paned windows facing your neighbors? Do you have flammable materials piled high in your side yard?
30 feet clearance around your house doesn't just mean dry grass, but that's a good place to start. I see plenty of dry grass that hasn't been cleared.
We are not immune, but we could be a lot safer than we are. Fire season is here, folks. If you've been putting off those safety measures, now's the time.
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