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As home to majestic mountain ranges, staggeringly gorgeous beaches and incredibly exciting cities like San Diego and Los Angeles, Southern There’s no doubt that California is one of the country’s most appealing regions. However, it is also a part of the country that is plagued by destructive wildfires. And while the area’s fire-rescue services will be out in full force, individuals should do everything they can prepare themselves and their homes for fire season.

Clear Away Dead Vegetation
According to California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, one way to help reduce the risk of your home being damaged in a wildfire is to remove all the dead plants, leaves and grass from your roof as well as your front and back yards. By doing this, you can help ensure that embers blown in from nearby wildfires will not catch if they happen to fall on your home. You should also ensure that your lawn doesn’t exceed 4 inches in height and that there are no dead shrubs or plants near any of your windows.

Trim Your Trees
One of the reasons wildfires in California are so intense is that they spread very quickly through dense, dried out sections of vegetation. To help keep wildfires away from your home, make sure your trees and bushes are routinely pruned of dead leaves and branches. One floating ember could land on a tree near your home, engulf it in flames and spread that fire to any surrounding structures in seconds. As such, you should also make sure that any trees on your property don’t have branches that extend any closer than 10 feet to your chimney.

Use Caution When Operating Gas Powered Equipment
As the Cal Fire website points out, approximately 95 percent of wildfires in the state of California are caused by human activity. In the past, hugely destructive blazes have been sparked by gas-powered equipment like lawn mowers, weed eaters, chainsaws and hedge trimmers when they were used improperly. Make sure all of your gas powered equipment is fitted with spark arrestors and make sure you don’t run your lawn mower over sharp rocks, as the mower’s blade could create a spark upon contact. It’s also important not to use gas-powered equipment when it is especially windy, as you run the risk of creating a spark that could be blown into a wooded area very quickly.

Be Fire Safe When Camping
There are 27 different state parks in California and the one thing they have in common is their stunning beauty. However, future generations will never see these natural wonders if today’s campers do not practice proper fire safety. As National Geographic outlines in its wildfire prevention checklist, campers can prevent the outbreak of a wildfire by properly extinguishing any and all campfires, never disposing of a cigarette or match in a wooded area, and by not parking on any dry grass or weeds as a car’s heated exhaust pipes and mufflers can spark a fire.

Article by Mario McKellop.