Multi-Agency Wildfire Guide Provided To 62,000 Residents Of Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda and Canyon

May 21, 2019 14:00 pm · 6 comments

In one of the largest public awareness initiatives of its kind, the City of Lafayette, Lafayette Police Department, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (ConFire), the Moraga-Orinda Fire District and other local law enforcement agencies in Lamorinda have produced a wildfire guide for residents that has been mailed to every household in Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda and Canyon – cities and towns totaling more than 62,000 residents in critical wildland fire hazard areas of the East Bay.

Beginning this week, households will be receiving the Residents Guide, which contains essentials for citizens regarding wildfire preparedness and evacuation. The Residents Guide brings into homes important information that is generally covered in emergency preparedness presentations from CERT and fire and police departments.

The information in the Lamorinda Residents Guide to Wildfire Preparedness & Evacuation is designed to help residents prepare their families, homes, and neighborhoods for the approaching wildland fire season. The concept behind the Residents Guide is to ensure that the community as a whole is prepared and can better respond when conditions exist for a possible catastrophic fire in the Lamorinda area.

Original G May 21, 2019 at 2:33 PM

Here’s the link that came up in search.

S May 21, 2019 at 2:34 PM

very nice booklet

Pedalin' Pinhead May 21, 2019 at 5:59 PM

Wow. That’s actually a really good booklet.

S May 21, 2019 at 6:11 PM

click on the pic… takes u right to it…

Gittyup May 23, 2019 at 6:34 AM

Fire prevention specialists are actually recommending you rip out portions of your landscaping to insure your home is “defensible.” Does this mean they won’t bother “defending” homes with older shade trees on the property? Or, un-recommended ground covers? Sort of sounds like it. Photos of the remnants of fires in Northern California these last two years sort of look that way, too. Taking out shade trees will increase your costs for heating and cooling, and in some areas would make the property virtually unlivable. In places like Canyon, or Ben Lomond near Santa Cruz, for example, removing huge areas of vegetation would permanently alter the nature of the enclave both visually and in ambient climate.

They also recommend clearing out all pine needles. I did this once for a fifty year-old pine tree and the fifty years worth of pine needles under it. The debris I removed was massive. The next Spring before I knew it, the area was covered with waist-high weeds that the pine needles had been keeping a bay. It has required frequent mowing all year ever since. The pine needles would have kept the fire close to the ground. The weeds won’t. I have much more concern about waist-high weeds catching fire than I ever did the pine needles. I removed a large area of ivy, also, and the same thing happened. They are the very same weeds that cover surrounding hillsides that regularly burn in this area, seemingly catching fire in areas remote from human habitation.

Certainly, if you cement over your yard after having removed your landscaping you eliminate much of the risk fire presents from surrounding landscaping, but you are giving up the benefits of the shade and aesthetic beauty that landscaping provides. I have also discovered during the drought years dating back to the 60s that ivy as a ground cover gets along quite well during dry years. Juniper is also very drought tolerant and provides nesting habitat for many wild animals and species of birds. I have no doubt that fire prevention specialists know more than I do about preventing fires. I just think some of the recommendations are unrealistic in certain situations.

the real just me May 23, 2019 at 9:03 AM

I think you’re reading too much into it-the important part is trimming trees up 15′ or so, removing branches hanging over your house. Removing the pine needles is important because they burn very fast and hot..if you have doubts try starting a fire in your fireplace with needles and a few pine cones it’ll take right off very quickly. Basically you’re giving firefighters a chance to save your home, if they have 2-10 hrs before the fire is expected to arrive they can do other things to it to help with protection, but if they roll up and the trees are all over the house pine needles everywhere they’ll make the choice to move on probably. In other areas of the state these requirements have been enforced by HOAs and Fire Depts for years. I once a new guy who worked in Tech and he and his wife would take 10 days off and head to the foothills with their dump trailer charging residents to remove their pine needles…..he made A LOT of money doing this because it’s hard dirty work.

As for junipers….you may like how they look but they burn REAL fast and in the Northern NV they have asked residents to remove them from their landscaping entirely. They offer yearly dump off for free for residents to dump them.

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