Thanks to funds provided through the U.S. Forest Service, The City of Big Bear Lake, and The Big Bear Fire Authority, the Curbside Chipping Program has been available to homeowners. The curbside chipping program is highly successful thanks to the participation of the public. There have been 11,500 requests for pickup and over 7,000 tons of vegetation removed from properties needing to create defensible space. All the material was diverted from the landfill and put to use as biomass for energy plants, as ground cover for landscape, and on slopes along freeways.
Thanks to the community participation during the past eight years, over 19,000 hours were logged on www.thinisin.org This has helped your local fire agencies meet their required matching commitment for grants funds.
Much work is still needed by homeowners to create defensible space. Even the best fire fighting structure defense strategies often times won't work without the property owners creating defensible space.
When the chipping program is not running, if you have a vegetation pile ready you can cut the vegetation to four foot lengths to put out with your trash, rent a chipper, or take it to the transfer station.
Defensible space is an area around a structure where fuels and vegetation are treated, cleared, or reduced to slow the spread of wildfire towards the structure. It also reduces the chance of a structure fire moving from building to the surrounding forest. Defensible space provides room for fire fighters to do their jobs. Your house is more likely to withstand a wildfire if dried grasses, pine needles, leaves, flammable shrubs, and trees are managed to reduce the wildfire's intensity.
FIREWISE SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR DEFENSIBLE SPACE:
- Remove Juniper shrubs and any other pyrophytic (highly flammable) vegetation within 15 feet of a structure.
- Remove tree branches within 10 feet of a chimney opening.
- Remove pine needles and leaves from the roof and the raingutters.
- Remove pine needles and leaves in excess of two inches on the ground throughout the property.
- Cut grass and weeds greater than four inches tall.
- Completely remove pine needles and leaves located within five feet of any portion of a structure or deck.
- Thin out small dense native trees less than six inches in diameter, which are within eight feet of a larger native tree or other small trees.
HELP YOUR BIG BEAR VALLEY FIRE AGENCIES EARN THEIR COMMUNITY FIREWISE AWARD. LOG YOUR HOURS CREATING DEFENSIBLE SPACE ON www.thinisin.org