Community Presentations Fire Safe News Fire-Wise Landscaping

CANYONLANDS: Brush Management Guide and Video Presentation

San Diego Canyonlands: Brush Management Training for Canyon Communities

Click here to download San Diego Canyonland’s “Brush Management + Native Landscaping Resources.”

Fire Safe News


If you make improvements to your home so it is less likely to be seriously damaged or destroyed in a wildfire, it’s only fair that your insurance costs should reflect that reduced risk…or at the very least, you should be able to find and keep affordable home insurance.

United Policyholders

Has Your Big Rate Increase Arrived? Mine Did!

Or, a home insurance cancellation notice like some neighbors? Consumer advocacy group, United Policyholders (UP), is tackling this through their Wildfire Risk Reduction and Asset Protection Project (“WRAP”). Along with the CA Insurance Department, insurers, Fire Safe Councils and a host of other agencies, WRAP hopes to establish for the first time:

1. Uniform, scientifically based, industry-accepted home hardening standards

2. Standardized home inspection and certification programs

3. Insurance incentives for California homeowners to meet standards — CA Dept. of Insurance has draft regulations to do just this.

The industry’s research group, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, is developing a “Wildfire Prepared Home” designation, which our insurers could use to provide discounts or other incentives – details at the link below but basically, requirements under discussion are:

1. Class A fire-rated roof

2. Ember-resistant vents – 1/8 inch

3. 6-inch vertical non-combustible clearance at the base of walls – could be siding, or other non-combustible material from the ground up six inches

4. No combustible siding

5. No combustible materials within 5 feet of the house “home ignition zone”

6. No materials in vents

7. Attached decks that are enclosed, and no combustible materials underneath.

8. Any fence touching or within five feet of house is non- combustible

9. No combustible outbuildings near home

10.Yard is clear of debris.

“Wildfire Prepared Home” designations may start this summer in California. So, if you’re considering some home renovations, you might save future insurance dollars as well as help protect your home, and your neighbors by implementing these target requirements now.

Another good reason to take advantage of the KFS February 17-24 Dumpathon! Free dumpsters for your green fuel waste at: 4312 Ridgeway Drive, 4345 Middlesex Drive, 4308 Alder Drive, 4362 Argos Drive and 4870 Sussex Drive. We are grateful to the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County and the San Diego River Conservancy for supporting this project! More info at: Insurance info: and

Judy Harrington

Note: Several insurance companies offer discounts already for fire-hardened homes, mostly for “Fire Wise Communities” that meet specific wildfire damage-resistance criteria. Obtaining this designation requires a lot of volunteer efforts and homeowner cooperation, but already hardened homes as well as having a Fire Safe Council is a help! Kensington’s not a FWC.

Fire Safe News

Holiday Gifts For Firefighters

Pictured L to R: Judy Harrington, Zoraida Payne, Chris Pinkerton, Joe Pellegrini, Eric Nelson, and Vicki Pinkus

For the past week, Kensington Fire Safe has been collecting holiday treats for our firefighter heroes at our local Fire Station 18 in Normal Heights. Neighbors donated items that filled two overflowing baskets, and SOMEONE even donated some mistletoe! Kensington community businesses also stepped up to donate. Stehly Farms donated two large boxes of fresh produce. Clem’s Bottle House and Kensington Starbucks also donated items.

On December 13, 2021 Kensington Fire Safe board members dropped off these goodies to the grateful firefighters. We let them know how much we appreciate their service to our community, and it was really an honor chatting with these wonderful people. We can all rest assured we’re in good hands with these men ready to jump in in case of emergency.

A heartfelt thank you to all the people who generously donated items to the goody baskets, and a huge thank you to board member Vicki Pinkus for organizing this year’s holiday gift.

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

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

Fire-Wise Landscaping

Landscaping Your Home in a Fire Area

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

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

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! 

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.

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.

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 Visit his webpage at:

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

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.