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Wildfire Preparedness Week, Day 2: Cut Your Grass!


Wildfire Preparedness Week is May 3-9, 2015.  Follow our daily updates for an easy, step by step guide to protecting your home!

This week, Fire Safe Marin will provide a simple, 7 day guide to improving your home and family’s wildfire preparedness with simple, easy, inexpensive tips.

Day 2: Cut Your Grass!

grass fireMarin’s prolonged drought brings an early fire season.  Grasslands that are normally green in early May began “curing,” or drying out, much earlier than normal.  It’s these grasses that make up the fuel for Marin’s most frequent and fast moving wildfires.  Dry grass is particularly susceptible to ignition –  carelessly dropped cigarettes, illegal fireworks, mower blades, and hot car mufflers are frequent ignition sources.  These fast moving grass fires damage and destroy homes every year in California, and Marin, often damaging or destroying homes in the first few minutes, before firefighters can take action.

 Every homeowner is responsible for maintaining vegetation on their property, and cutting dry grass, like cleaning your roof and gutters, is one of the fastest and most effective ways to protect your home and family.

Take an hour today to cut the grass on your property.  This easy and inexpensive step may save your home!  

  1. Battery Powered String Trimmers are lightweight and effective.Start closest to your home, and work outward.
  2. Cut grass to 3″ or less, 30′-100′ from all structures, decks, and outbuildings.  
  3. Add additional defensible space on the downhill side if you live on a slope.  Even a slight slope will greatly increase the heat and speed of a wildfire.
  4. Rake up trimmings and dispose with green waste.
  5. Cut dry grass in the morning when it’s cool and moist.
  6. Do not cut grass or operate outdoor power tools on “red flag” days.
  7. Sparks from some power tools can cause fires.  String trimmers are safer than mowers, and newer battery powered models are effective, quiet, lightweight, quiet, and will not cause sparks that start fires.
  8. Be prepared to cut again within a few weeks if regrowth occurs.

Grass fires are deceptively dangerous, with flames that can explode from inches to tens of feet from a brief gust of wind, these fast moving fires kill more firefighters each year than any other type of fire.  

If you see a grass fire:

  • Call 911 and report the fire’s location.
  • Never approach a fire to observe or photograph.  
  • Stay on pavement and away from unburned grass or vegetation.
  • Move downhill, away from the fire.
  • Watch our for firefighters, fire engines, and fire equipment.

Did you complete Day 1: Clean Your Roof and Gutters?

Check back tomorrow for more tips and tricks on creating a firesafe home and neighborhood.