Wind, Red Flags & Motivation

Yesterday was a very windy day. The breeze built through the afternoon before switching from our normal western breeze to a stiff easterly wind. The day before I had seen red flag warnings going up for parts of the foothills and coastal range. Though it is only mid May, yesterday was an important reminder that fire season has begun. The reminder, while appreciated, was not completely necessary. Having moved to the foothills from Santa Rosa after the 2017 Tubbs Complex firestorm, fire is something that has been front of mind every step of the way. Our story from the Tubbs fire is nothing compared to so many others but, suffice to say, it was one of the factors that led us away from Sonoma County and the Bay Area.

The reminder however validated so many of our recent decisions and actions. We are currently in the process of having the trees that are overhanging the house trimmed back, we are putting gutter guards on to prevent leaf debris accumulating and acting as a tinderbox, we are of course mowing (forever string trimming and mowing), and most recently we have begun to cut dirt trails along the property which can also serve as small but modest fire breaks.

Yesterday evening I attended a Master Gardner class on Fire Wise Landscaping. It was extra motivation to get out to purchase that pole-saw, clean up the piles of sticks that were left around the property and most importantly keep my grass and canopy layers separated. The retired CalFire officers quote was “We can fight a ground fire, not a crown fire.” After last year I think all Californian’s realized we live in fire country, now its about planning, preparing and always being ready.

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