Weather Heightens Chances of Wildfires in California

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As people in Florida, Louisiana and south Texas batten down the hatches while they wait to see if Tropical Storm Karen turns into a proper hurricane, here in California we have the opposite problem. Well, that’s not exactly true. We will also have strong winds, but instead of carrying water, ours will carry heat and dust.

Yes, our Santa Ana winds are back, says the National Weather Service. These will hit Southern California with powerful offshore gusts and very low humidity levels. Forecasters warn that these Santa Anas will provide dry conditions that will dramatically raise fire dangers here from Los Angeles County through Orange County down to San Diego County. And let’s not forget the Inland Empire Counties, as they always deal with hotter temperatures than the coastal regions.

Dry conditions plus strong winds mean that a small spark can spell disaster. The Firewise Communities Program has recommendations for the Zone Concept of defensible space around your home. You can read more about it here, but we’ve included a few key tips for you in this post.

  • Zone 1 is an area around the structure and all its attachments—this means your deck counts as “the structure”—that stretches out 30 feet. They came up with that number because it is the distance that a wood wall can be separated from flame without it igniting.
  • In this 30-foot area, make sure that you don’t have plants that have resins, oils and waxes. A eucalyptus tree is an example of a tree high in oils.
  • Remove dead vegetation within a 10-foot span of your house, and make sure to clean under decks, porches and balconies.
  • Firewood stacks and propane tanks should NOT be located in Zone 1.
  • If you can’t water your plants regularly because of water restrictions, consider xeriscaping your Zone 1 area.
  • Mow the lawn on a regular basis.
  • Prune trees so that branches are 6 to 10 feet away from the ground.
  • Trim back trees that have branches that hang over the house.

Of course, homeowners insurance covers for most fire-related disasters. But have you done a video or photo inventory of your valuables? Have you told your insurance agent about new purchases, like sporting equipment or jewelry? If these things get destroyed in a fire and you don’t have them specifically covered on your policy, you’ll be very disappointed when it comes to claims. And remember, a fire usually devastates a home, especially a wildfire. So please don’t take any chances, and call BMR Insurance Agency to make sure all your belongings are included. We’re here to make sure you’re covered! (714) 838-1911


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