Firewise: Yardwork During Shelter in Place


    Despite the shelter in place order, homeowners still need to get their properties ready for the upcoming fire season.
    On April 29, Contra Costa Health Services eased some rules allowing a limited number of businesses to resume, including landscapers and gardening services.  
    The Moraga-Orinda Fire District deadline for homeowners to comply with the hazard reduction standards is June 15. The requirements are:
    • Annual grass and weeds cut to less than 3 inches.
    • Trees limbed/trimmed to create at least 5 feet of vertical clearance between the lowest portion of the canopy and the ground or ground fuels.
    • Concentrations of wild or non-irrigated brush thinned or removed.
    • Ladder fuels removed to disrupt the fuel bed.
    • Roofs maintained free of leaves and other tree litter.
    • Roadside maintained to create 3 feet of horizontal and 15 feet of vertical clearance.
    • Dead or diseased trees removed.
    • Dead combustible vegetation removed.

    Melanie Light is chair of the Orinda Firewise Council, a consortium of leaders from 13 Orinda Firewise groups working on fire prevention efforts. Reach her at

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