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Community Presentations Fire Safe News Fire-Wise Landscaping

Master Gardener Cindy Bruecks on Fire Safe Landscaping

Click here to see the video of the Zoom Session.

Click here to download the handout Cindy references in her talk.

FireWise gardening tips from Cindy Brucks

Kensington Fire Safe Zoom presentation, 11/17/2021

Your House:

  • Use 1/8” vent screening or disks like Vulcan Vent Ver2 to block embers
  • Box in your eaves (may be expensive but looks good)
  • Metal screens over dual pane windows; fiberglass screens burns like wood
  • No attached wooden fences or aerial wood decks
  • Fuel-filled neighbor’s yard less than eight feet away? Have a chat, if their house burns, yours will too.
  • Have & practice an evacuation plan; know possible evacuation route
  • Add the regional emergency notification app “Alert San Diego” to your cell phone: https://www.readysandiego.org/content/oesready/en-us/alertsandiego.html

Your Garden:

  • Nothing flammable within five feet of your house
  • “Mean Clean and Green” in the first 50 feet – dead undergrowth is kindling!
  • Reduce anything that can burn, cut most plants down to a few inches.
  • Space plants…avoid a sea of greenery; break up with attractive hardscape which also gives firefighters room to work
  • Ground cover can be a potential fire ladder
  • Mulch
    • 2X year, mid-winter is a good time
    • Can hold some moisture & protect the plants 
    • Composted wood chips are also good for your plants
    • Fresh mulch burns faster, 10-15 inches can be very flammable
    • Gorilla hair burns with low flame and low heat when hydrated and compacted over time; lasts about 10 years (but can be pricey)
    • NO RUBBER MULCH – burns really well
    • Rocks will knock down weeds and give a uniform look. They won’t feed the soil other than a tiny bit of minerals long term, and they can produce heat. 
  • Trees
    • No trees within 30 feet of your eves 
    • Plants underneath trees are fire ladders
    • Pepper trees: Not native, very flammable, messy, can uproot foundations.
    • Palm trees provide no shade, shed a lot, need constant maintenance, and are subject to many invasive pests, not just the South American Weevils.   Some experts say eventually we will have no palm trees.
    • Consider fruit trees, native sycamores, and sambucas/elderberry trees– behave better in a drought
  • Plants
    • Consider: roses, hellebores, heuchera
    • Firefighters do not like golden barrel cactus in their way!
    • Go for plants that will take summer water and stay green all year
    • Lower dead stems of ice plants and ice plant-like plants (mesembryanthemums) are pure kindling; eventually causes erosion, & takes salt out of the air, so do well near the ocean, but deposit salt in the soil, not good for other plants.
    • To combat erosion on canyon slopes, if not too steep, mulch before you plant to retain rainwater ; try planting lemonade berry, or deer grass (Muhlenbergia rigens) or check the UC Davis’ All Star 100’s
    • New gallon-sized plants will grow healthier in the long run than new larger plants; mulch and water a lot at first, then lightly until established, then 2-3 times a month through the dry season
    • Consider MP Rotators to allow water to gently, and evenly soak soil which is more efficient and cheaper than traditional sprays.

Last words…

  • Pay attention to local codes:
  • “Poorly maintained fire-resistant plants are worse than regular ones”

QUESTIONS? CALL SAN DIEGO MASTER GARDENERS AT 858-822-6910 or email at help@mastergardenerssandiego.org.  

FireWise Gardening Zoom was sponsored by Kensington Fire Safe, KenTal Community Association, KenTal Gardening Club, and Trees KenTal.

Categories
Fire-Wise Landscaping

Landscaping Your Home in a Fire Area

Click here to read an article about fire safe landscaping by Las Pilitas Nursery.

Categories
Fire Safe News

Landscaping For Fire Safety

Year-round fire season means gardening for fire safety year-round too. San Diego Master Gardener, writer and lecturer, Cindy Bruecks, will cover how to prep your land and plants, and your home’s exterior, and will even provide paperwork to give you the best chance of fending off flying embers. Everyone in our neighborhood is near a wildland boundary, and hence in harm’s way.  Join us for this horticulturist’s view of fire readiness.

Wednesday, November 17th.     7 – 8 PM on Zoom
Join the Zoom presentation at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84714380025?pwd=dE9JWndxdGxYa1lDbXNVU1hZVWNHUT09

Please click here to RSVP for the Zoom presentation.

Before attending the presentation please download the Checklist for Firesafe Landscaping.

You and your home will be glad you came! 

Categories
Fire Safe News

October Dumpathon

On Thursday, September 30, 2021 six dumpsters were placed at various locations around Kensington. Here they are in all their glory:

On Tuesday, October 5, 2021 four of these dumpsters, even the two jumbo-sized dumpsters, were almost completely full:

Four of the six were 80% or more full, and two were 60% full.

On Thursday, October 7, emptied dumpsters were placed at seven new locations around Kensington. Here are the Week 2 dumpsters:

On October 9, three days after Week 2 dumpsters were delivered Bill and Judy Harrignton’s dumpster filled up!

On October 12, with only one full day remaining in our Dumpathon, almost all our dumpsters are 90% or more full!

We’re so grateful that the community got on board and took full advantage of this opportunity to clear fire-fuel from their canyons and yards.

By our estimate, we removed up to 39 tons of green waste during the Dumpathon.

Thank you so much to our 13 dumpster-minders, neighbors who let us place a dumpster in the street outside their house. They spread the word about the Dumpathon and got many of their neighbors involved. They also monitored the dumpster throughout the weeks and notified us of any problems. Our dumpster-minders were incredibly helpful and supportive. Here’s a map of where our dumpsters were located:

Dumpster Locations for Week 1 and 2

A HUGE Thank You to SDG&E, The San Diego Regional Fire Foundation, and generous Kensington Fire Safe Dollar$ 4 Dumpsters donors for funding our fall canyon cleanup. We couldn’t do it without you!

Also, a BIG Thank You to Ware Disposal, our dumpster rental company, who provided incredible support for our project!

Saying good bye to our dumpster on Ridegway. See you next time!

For more information on the Dumpathon please click here to go to our DUMPATHON page.

Categories
Fire Safe News

The Dumpsters Of Kensington – Week 1

The first round of dumpsters arrived today (9/30/2021). Please dump your fire-prone yard trimmings in the dumpsters for free. Click here for dumpster locations and status.

Categories
Community Presentations Fire Safe News

Danny Glessner’s Home Hardening Seminar

Click here to see the presentation on YouTube.

On Thursday, September 16, 2021 we were fortunate to have Danny Glessner, home hardening expert, give an hour-long presentation on the steps we can take to make our homes safer in a wildfire.

Roughly 30 people attended the presentation in person and an additional 30 attended via Zoom. Glessner was happy to see how concerned Kensington residents are about fire safety and remarked that, since our homes are so close together, we need to act as a community to keep everyone’s home safe.

Glessner covered various topics including wildfire history in California, how to create defensible space in our yards and canyons, and how to seal our homes to keep flying embers out. Simple steps such as removing debris from roofs and rain gutters, and screening off eaves and vents can make a big difference in how well your home can survive a fire.

Glessner’s business, Wildfire Home Hardening Specialists, can send an expert to your home and give you practical and cost-effective solutions to make your home safer in a wildfire. You can schedule a consultation by emailing Glessner at HomeHardening@gmail.com. Visit his webpage at:

wildfirehomehardeningspecialists.com

We are so grateful that Glessner shared his time and expertise with our community.

Categories
Fire Safe News Fire-Wise Landscaping

Reminder to Keep Your Fan Palms Trimmed

Sure, your fan palm is beautiful with its layers of drying fronds draping down the trunk. But those dried fronds ignite easily in a wildfire and spread flying embers throughout the neighborhood. Let the unprecedented fires raging through our state right now serve as a reminder to keep your fan palms trimmed up and protected from fire. You might just save your house, or your neighbor’s.

Categories
Fire Safe News

Home Hardening Presentation

Want to Up Your Homes’ Fire Survival Odds?

Mark your calendars – as requested by a number of residents, Kensington Fire Safe is sponsoring a professional home hardening expert to talk about the latest info on strengthening our homes’ fire resistance. Our speaker, Danny Glessner, is a former firefighter and fire captain who combines scientific research with extensive frontline experience.

Time: 7 – 8 PM, September 16th
Place: Kensington Community Church, 4774 Marlborough Dr. or on Zoom

Here’s the link to join the presentation on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87164758968?pwd=dTBkaFMwWDYyV0c1aVdaSWZnT1B6QT09

If attending in person: The Church requires all attendees to sign a COVID waiver and wear face covering, regardless of vaccination status. Disposable masks will be available for your use.

Click here to e-sign the Kensington Community Church’s COVID waiver online.

Click here to RSVP if attending in person (so we have enough chairs) or on Zoom (so we can monitor community engagement).

Categories
Fire Safe News

Dollar$ 4 Dumpsters Day

Saturday, July 17, 9am. It was a perfect morning. 26 of us met at Judy’s house to pick up our maps, flyers, and nametags. We were divided into teams of two’s and three’s and each team was assigned an area of roughly 150 parcels to deliver our Dollar$ 4 Dumpsters fundraising flyers to. All 26 of us arrived on time and ready to get to work. We planned our routes and headed out to our areas to canvas. The work was done in about an hour and a half and then those of us who were able met back at Judy’s for lunch and a pool party.

Here’s a shot of our lunch spread which consisted of sub sandwiches, potato chips, homemade chocolate chip cookies, fruit, and drinks.

Why are we raising dollars for dumpsters? We place dumpsters around the neighborhood to encourage folks to clear their yards and canyons of fire fuels. They use the dumpsters free-of-charge. We call this The Dumpathon which is an annual event. This year The Dumpathon will take place October 2 -15, and we’re thinking of holding another Dumpathon in the spring.

We received a grant from SDG&E that will fund 10 dumpsters and have asked the community to donate so we can provide even more dumpsters and promote even more canyon clearing. So far neighbors have stepped up to provide funding for almost three additional dumpsters and it’s only day 3 of our campaign!

Dollar$ 4 Dumpsters Day was a great day with terrific people who all care about protecting our very special neighborhood from wildfire.

Categories
Fire Safe News

Sean Elo-River’s Office Completes Fairmount Canyon Clearing

From Brett Weise, Policy and Communications Manager Office of Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera:

“I have an update to provide regarding the canyon space in Kensington that has experienced recent fires. Our office has been advocating to city staff and the Chief Operating Officer for brush management services in this area. Over the weekend, Transportation and Storm Water crews abated the area that they are responsible for maintaining – the paper street between Fairmount Avenue and Van Dyke Avenue. Photos of the completed work are attached. Our office is continuing to work with the other asset managing departments to finish brush management of this space. We will also be contacting Canyonlands and EDCO to discuss potential opportunities for volunteers to join our office in brush abatement for this canyon and in other vulnerable open spaces throughout Council District 9.”