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Brush Clearing Deadline Arrives in High Fire Zones

Residents in high fire zones will be seeing the fire department coming through soon to make sure they have a defensible space before the next wildland fire.

Fire, wind and overgrowth all near homes, is a recipe for a possible loss of lives and property.

The Mission Canyon area has over a thousand homes, heavy brush and challenging access points. The homeowners also have a strong commitment to grass and brush clearing.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department showed NewsChannel 3 an area there that has seen fire before.

Some properties still have nice landscaping even though the hills have been largely cleared back 30 to 100 feet from a structure. “Which makes it still pretty. It makes it lush, but 30 feet around that it is mowed down to dirt,” said Santa Barbara County Fire Captain David Zaniboni. ” What it does is it gives a nice buffer in case a fire did start in this area to the homes and all the residences on the ridge from any wildfire that would come through the area. “

One homeowner actively teams up with a worker on his property to keep a clearance, year round.

“We divy up what we are going to do and he takes the weed wacker down here and you do that and we both go over here. We’ve got a game plan,” said Ron Combie who lost a home in a previous fire where he lives now.

Besides brush clearing, relocating fire wood stacks, and other safety checks for fire risks can also help. “Even with this type of clearance around your structure you could still get those embers finding a spot creating a fire in the gutter, the roof line or somewhere underneath that home,” said Zaniboni.

Inspections begin immediately with fire crews checking properties in their districts for brush clearing.

If it is not done, a work crew will be sent out and the bill will be added to the annual property taxes.

Fire officials say compliance is very high. For more information go to: www.sbcfire.com

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