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Prepping for Fire

We just spent a ton of time and energy up at our cabin above Sonora doing what is now the annual task of creating defensible space around the cabin. While a cabin in the woods is never completely defensible against fire, there are a few things you can do to improve your odds. The local fire officials have a checklist to follow, and we try to make them happy.

What that meant this week was raking our 1/2 acre of forest to remove the leaves, twigs, and pine needles that lay think upon the ground. Yes, they make a plush carpet on the soil, but they also serve as perfect kindling for any blaze. So our yard is now getting swept more or less spic and span.

We've also managed the trees around our cabin. No, we haven't cut down everything within 300 feet of the cabin. That would be brutal. But we have cut all limbs and branches back from the cabin itself, removed dead limbs, and given our approval for our local utility company to remove trees and branches that might affect the nearby power lines.

It's a lot of work. And it has to get done every year. Tuolumne County thinks it's so important that they offer assistance to anyone over the age of sixty to take care of this. We fit the criteria, but we're able to do it ourselves. And we hope that means the county can use those resources to help someone else around us.

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