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One of the things that we have to do here in the Sierra Foothills is prepare for fire season. This year we have the worst conditions for fire due to lack of rain over the winter. Everything is browning about a month early, and we need to clear flammable materials away from the house. Yesterday we cleaned up two oak trees next to the house.

Here is a shot of one of the oaks before we cleaned up the tree.

Before photo

Before photo

And here is the same tree afterwards…

After shot

After shot

We had a lot of trimmings which we can burn on a day sanctioned for burning of this debris.

Trimmings

Trimmings

This is only a small portion of what we trimmed. We moved most of it over to where we do our controlled burning. Each of these piles is about 5′ high.

Piles and piles and piles

Piles and piles and piles

We do save some of this. I trimmed up smaller pieces so we have kindling for our fireplace in the coming winter.

Kindling

Kindling

And we did get a few pieces of wood for burning. This is only a few of the pieces as we had to quit for the day due to the high temperatures.

Wood for our fireplace

Wood for our fireplace

Fire danger here in the foothills is always high over the summer and we are keeping our fingers crossed that folks use their ashtrays, man their campfires, and that when the monsoonal storms move up here from Arizona, that we do not have any dry lightning.

Remember: Only you can prevent forest fires!

Have a great day and thank you for taking the time to visit today!

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August through October is when the fire danger is high in the Sierra Foothills. Burning anything was suspended in early July and will remain in effect until the fall rains come in. How does one live in a region like this with the possibility of fire at any time? We take measures.

One of the things we do is trim the branches on the trees up so that the lowest branch is no lower than seven feet from the ground. We also keep our property clean. This involves a lot of weed eating to keep the weeds down to the ground; pine cones are picked up; and we removed highly flammable shrubbery from the property.

If you remember, or maybe were not aware, it was the duff (pine needles and other leaf matter) on the ground that caused the devastation of the fire that occurred a few years back up at Lake Tahoe.

A few years ago in June we had one night of dry lightning – that is lightning and no rain. There were over 5,000 lightning strikes in a large area around us that night, and fires got started! Here are some photos of what the area looked like with all the smoke in the air, which remained all summer long.

From the air looking towards the Sierra Nevada range

Look again at this photo. You can almost see the farthest part of the mountain range.

Closer to home the air quality was really bad.

My neighborhood in the smoke

Here is a shot from Mosquito Bridge looking down the American River.

Smoke along the American River

We are lucky here with our fire department. They are not only quick to respond to an event, but they practice their skills. Last year I was able to catch photos of them setting controlled burns for training.

They start the burn

Teams move in

The fire is monitored and then put out. Our battalion is pretty impressive.

The Battalion is there in full force

So, if you find yourself this summer in a wooded area, please use care and help preserve the beauty of the forests! And remember:

Smokey the Bear

Only you can prevent forest fires!

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