Hello and welcome to April after the driest winter on record for Placer County and much of Northern California. As you can see from this chart, 2013 had the driest January and February on record (purple color), blue areas ranked 2 through 5 years of the driest on record , and yellow is ranked 6-10. As you well know, March was no wetter.
So why, you might be asking, is Jennifer writing about this in the April newsletter? Well, because although a dry winter does not necessarily mean we will have a catastrophic fire season, it does mean that the likelihood that we will have a catastrophic fire season increases.
This means it is time to get out in your yard, your forested and agricultural lands and do the necessary defensible space work to protect you, your family, your neighbors and your home. It is not just residents of the rural areas of the County who should take these precautions, but even those in more urbanized areas - it was only 3 years ago that the 49 Fire swept through an urbanized neighborhood in North Auburn, destroying 63 structures in a matter of minutes.
Here you will find some links to guidelines for defensible space and to Placer County's Hazardous Vegetation Abatement Ordinance ( Chapter 9 PUBLIC PEACE, SAFETY AND WELFARE, Article 9.32 FIRE PREVENTION, Chapter 4.) , as well as the City of Auburn's regulations.
Please contact your local Fire District or Department to schedule a visit for a defensible space inspection on your property and give you suggestions for a more fire safe community. The Placer County Resource Conservation District offers chipping services for a fee as do many private landscape and yard maintenance companies in the area.
Remember that forewarned is forearmed and now is the time to take proactive steps for your own safety. Be safe, but also be prepared,
As always if you have any questions or concerns about County services or policies, please feel free to contact me, Steve Kastan or Jocelyn Maddux!
All My Best - Jennifer Montgomery