Fire Management – Trees

Fire management is an interesting topic and here is a good article from the book called “Firescaping” by “Douclas Kent”, excerpt for our users below

Wildfire suppression has a legacy in California and it can never be completely dismantled. But much of the fire policy of yesteryear is changing.The many land

managers are switching their focus from prevention to protection. Maybe we are maturing as a state. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protec-

tion(CDF)has the largest effect on fire policy. In September 2004,the California senate and governor amended a CDF law, increasing the amount of defensible space that must be maintained by homeowners. Community members across the

state have started grassroots organizations aimed at increasing public education and reducing fuel.Even the use of prescribed burns to control fuels is on the rise. Many Californians realize that trying to stop a fire will not protect them. But there’s another reason for the shift in fire policy-economics. Wild landscapes that previously were used by industries such as logging and ranching have become attractive to tourists and homeowners. The value of these landscapes is no

longer found in the amount of resources sitting on them, but in the natural beauty of the landscapes themselves. Radiating out from urban centers across the state, property values are higher in areas of natural open space.Marin County and

Malibu are excellent examples of places where large tracts of land are maintained to preserve a natural state. Wise fire management preserves tourism dollars home prices and nature. Paying out claims that have exceeded$2 billion a year,

insurance companies are also taking a stronger stand. They have increased premiums, sponsored community education programs and have even threatened to leave certain areas-all of which has led concerned homeowners to take

action. Some companies are beginning to use the condition of a property to determine premiums: People with firescaped gardens and fire-resistant building materials and roofs are rewarded with lower rates.

The state has a large incentive to change policy too. Suppression costs grow proportionally to the amount of people in fire-risk areas and people are still heading to the hills in large numbers.

In spite of these changes, the shift in fire policy has been slow and there is still much to do. For fire protection to assume a larger role in California’s fire-prone communities resources and responsibility need to shift. Fire agencies must implement stronger educational programs employing experts in horticulture and

land management and individuals should assume more responsibility for their safety and the condition of the landscapes that surround them. There are three ways protect yourself and your property from wildfire: Burn the landscape manually remove the flammable vegetation or build a home that will allow a fire to burn around it. Which tactic you and your community employ depends on many factors. The next chapter helps individuals and communities decide

which approach is best for their landscape. But if nothing else Californians shift in policy how we view fire prescribed burns and vegetation management-shows signs of maturity. Collectively, we are beginning to understand that fire cannot be stopped in California. Slowly, we are learning to live with it.