H-CENTRAL COAST

May 5, 2011 12:28 AM by Danielle Lerner

Peak fire season is upon us, is your home ready?

Local firefighters are gearing up for peak fire season and they are reminding Central Coast residents to do the same. Cal Fire will be conducting inspections to make sure homeowners are complying with the state's defensible space requirements.

The Central Coast is no stranger to devastating wildfires and with the peak fire season already upon us, firefighters are urging residents to be prepared.

"We had almost a 200-acre fire on Monday so things are ready to burn," said Jane Schmidt of Cal Fire.

On Wednesday Cal Fire crews from San Luis Obispo County, Ventura and Camarillo tested their preparedness during an exercise in Atascadero. They practiced clearing brush and cutting lines to make sure they are ready for the rigorous demands of wildland firefighting.

Now the question is, are you ready?

"They need to be ready to get out there and do that clearance," said Schmidt.

"The first 30 feet need to be clean and the next 70 feet need to be very lean," said Robert Lewin, the Cal Fire fire chief.

In addition to 100 feet of defensible space here are some other things to keep in mind when it comes to fire safety.

Mowing should be done before 10 a.m. when the temperatures are low and there is no wind. Use weed trimmers with nylon trim line instead of metal blades, and use caution when grinding, cutting or welding in areas with vegetation.

"You just want to make sure you get a handle of it before everything starts getting dried out," said Sam Langhout, who lives in Avila Beach.

Langhout says the work is worth it.

"If you clear just a little bit away from your house it can make the world of a difference," said Langhout.

For more information on protecting your home just head to the Newslinks section of ksby.com.

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