Next two days hot, and wildfire danger high


The weather forecast projects a 40 percent chance of rain on Sunday, June 9, but temperatures on Friday and Saturday are expected to exceed 90 degrees. With a severe fire season projected for the entire state, the Woodside Fire Protection District is asking residents of Woodside, Portola Valley and the nearby unincorporated -- and forested -- communities to be particularly alert to fire prevention.

Within the fire district, roadside signs about wildfire danger go up when temperature and wind conditions warrant it, Fire Chief Dan Ghiorso told the Almanac. Around 30 residents have signs at home and erect them at the fire district's request. They're likely to go up tonight or tomorrow, Chief Ghiorso said, based on the high temperatures predicted for Friday and Saturday.

"I put them up and take them down as the weather dictates," he said. "I don't want to leave them out there all year round ... so that people get used to them."

At this time of year, grass should be no higher than 6 inches, according to the fire district code. Areas within 100 feet of a house or other structure and within 30 feet of a property line should be made into a defensible space -- cleared of dead vegetative material, and shrubs and large bushes and lower limbs of trees separated and trimmed so as to prevent a fire on the ground from climbing into the trees' crowns. Roofs, gutters and decks should be cleared of leaves and debris.

Ideally, vegetation likely to catch fire -- pine trees, firs, bamboo, juniper, Scotch and French broom, for example -- should be replaced with fire-resistant native species. Go to this link for detailed lists of what and what not to have planted for defense from wildfire.

Fire district officials, in a statement, said they will be out "in force inspecting properties to ensure compliance with Government Code 51182 and the fire district's ordinance."

"All property owners are urged to consider utilizing ignition resistant building materials in the construction or remodeling of their homes. It is also recommended that property owners inspect their structures for any susceptibility to ember intrusion that could assist in ignition of their home during a wildland fire."

Go to this link for more tips on fire prevention.

— Dave Boyce

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