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Firescaping, With Butte Fire Safe Council And Douglas Kent, Author


This is cultivating place conversations on natural history and the human impulse to garden from north state public radio in northern California. I'm Jennifer jewel almost one year ago. A November eighth two thousand eighteen. The Campfire broke out in Butte County. California cited as the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history and the most expensive natural disaster in the world in two thousand eighteen. It was named after Camp Creek Road. Its place of origin. The fire reached one hundred percent containment only after seventeen days leaving behind eighty five civilian fatalities. Five firefighter fighter deaths. Almost one hundred and fifty five thousand acres burned in eighteen thousand eight hundred and four structures destroyed with most of the damage occurring within the first four hours in honor and memory. Today I'm joined by three people working in the world of a landscape. Fire Preparedness Kelly. Jean de Enda and Ben Heart of the Butte county fire. Safe Council who are both in the studio with me as well as Doug Kent author of Fire scaping protecting your home with fire resistant landscape. WHO joins US remotely welcome to you all? Thank you so much pleasure to be here. Thank you hi Jennifer. It's a delight so Kelly Jane let's start off with with you. Tell us a little bit about your role at the fire. Safe Council this far along in your career as the executive director of the Fire Council. I I am primarily in the role of helping the board of directors in their management and fiscal responsibility and then bringing on staff and coordinating volunteers when tears but moreover it's about getting the funding out into the community and helping individuals in their backyards. Yeah what about you Ben. Tell me a little a bit about your role at the Fire Safe Council and maybe a little bit about your history in in your interest in this in this work. Sure so I got started often. Doing my Undergrad. At Humble State University got about new degree there and kind of jump start my plant side of things and when I was in Graduate School Oregon State University. My project was was heavily concerned with prescribed fire and restoration on the landscape. So that's where I got the fire bug and when I moved to Butte county last fall right before the fire found the fire safe council and designed. That'd be a nice way to segue into my new life here. Yeah and what about you doug tell us a little bit about your your your your work in relation to fire safe landscaping and fire protection. Yes I started my work in fire scaping nineteen ninety-two looped into Mill Valley in Marin county three or four months after the tunnel. Don't fire the Oakland Berkeley Fire. And you know that was a doozy that was twenty. Nine hundred structures twenty-five lives lost all in ten hours and I was living in an environment government that was just as if not more flammable so I started working with a fire safe. Marin writing gardening guides running press relations and tabling events at Fairs and it just grew into a county gardening guide and then after the Cedar under fire in two thousand and three was turned into a statewide guide and it came out in two thousand and five really. That's where my education started was was after two thousand and five. Because I got to tour. All the major fires in Californian I really learned you know really. That's when the education started was interviewing the survivors walking the charred remains of communities in an lives lost. And and so I'm after twenty seven years. I've got a heck of a story to tell now that's for sure and let's go right to you doug to describe an and then we'll follow up with Kelly. Jane and Ben Describe when we use that term fires keeping what what does that. Even what does that mean. It's a I think that's a good question if I can back up if if I can give a little background here in the state has been burning. The whole western United States has been burning for thousands of of years and the local populations twelve thirteen thousand years ago actively employed fire. They use fire for Riecke of reasons and there was nobody to put him out so fire would have been a constant companion in their everyday life. They employed it and lived with it the seventeen hundreds we had the missionaries and they employed a different land land-management and they just simply avoided fire. And you can see this in their architecture. Dobie citing small windows small overhangs the landscape around on the missions were all use herbs vegetables tanning livestock and and they had an impeccable record of success. Now one mission was ever lost to a wildfire. Oh fire in the eighteen. Hundreds we had the the gold rush everybody coming into the state at that time. Soul everything on our landscape is a commodity. It had value are you. And and that's when suppressions started so we actively be back this natural force that had been in our state for thousands of years and then again that changed again at the nineteen fifties and California's great car culture began and went this. Did it allow the people with means to move out of the the city out of the crime and the grime and to go up into the hills and and live that natural life and and so the fire scaping zone theory and all current models came out of the nineteen sixty one. Bel Air Fire. Four hundred sixty four structures were lost in that fire but it was rich people it was people with means it was movie stars that lost in federal and state funding had roared into La County at that time and was at that time that fire scaping that word was coin The zone theory was developed and and the basis for all our plant Lewis that we now distribute throughout the state were all developed Pretty pretty much out of the L. A. Arboretum in the nineteen sixties and early nineteen seventies. And so those are the fire errors in California's as I see and we're still in this automobile air air and so hopefully we can evolve pass at in create safe communities communities that are always that provide wellbeing for all Polish citizens Kelly Jean. Let's move to you before we get into the specifics of how the the concept for fire scaping is structured. And if you could talk a little bit about your understanding of the history of the fire safe councils their their mission their purpose abyss and some of maybe why you came to be personally interested and educated in this field and then some of the kind of goals roles of the Fire Safe Council rate at this point great Picking up from the history that Doug was sharing in the nineteen ninety-one in Oakland hills fires. There was a recalibration mom. Basically FEMA and the time. CDF said hey we gotta do something differently. Why weren't the local citizens ready? I prepared and so the concept of I have councils was born from that in each. CDF unit had the responsibility to reach out to stakeholders headquarters. Informed this collective group that would then help educate residents on how to be prepared. So the Butte County Council formed in Nineteen Ninety eight or or twenty one years old and in the year two thousand. The national fire plan started to put funding in the pipeline for communities to begin to do projects. And so we over the years have had a number of projects whether their roadside evacuation watershed restoration on assistance for elderly low income disabled bold the no-cost chipper program. Sir just a wide diversity of ways that we can mobilize the community to be prepared so as as a young person I was in school and saw a lot of fires after the year. Two Thousand Colony in community here in Butte county had a number of horrendous fires with loss of life in Lhasa structures hence Oh assange sort of natural from me to see that level up devastation and loss I really wanted to My goal in life is to bring together helping people and helping the environment so I have a master's in geography and and I was very fortunate to be brought on as the council's Executive Director and bill put those passions to work. Yeah and you've been there for a lot of years now. When did you start with the council? I'll be coming on fifteen years. Wow okay talk about. I think you mentioned some of them right now the primary outreach of the Fire Safe Council to integrate your goals with what the community needs and with what. They're naturally trying trying to do themselves as well. Are those the ones that you just mentioned the watershed restoration. Chipping the educational outreach in terms of like the zones that we're GONNA get into those the primary areas that you're focusing on at this point he s so it's definitely a spectrum mom mm-hmm and we often think about the home itself and this donuts flowing out from that so the home in its construction landscape. The defense will space. Oh and on one hundred feet beyond that the wildlands and then ultimately the forest health and so we have staff volunteers and board members that are interacting and all of those phases of. I'm trying to improve our resilience to wildfire. Yeah do you have anything you want to add to that. From a specially maybe a newcomer to this areas is perspective. Yeah it was just interesting. Because until you've experienced wildfire the importance of preparing for it just never occurs to you and GROWN UP IN FAR NORTHERN California up in the Red Woods we were recently hit with the gasket complex Back in Twenty fifteen. I believe and that fire really put into perspective. Just how unprepared we were because all the things we do is fire safe council here and Buke County. I love the job. They co workers. The Perfect Reference House is my family's place up in gas down the Smith River because that is completely buyer unready and so being able to take lessons from that and then putting them forward to what what we do here now. Puke county's been really beneficial. Yeah Yeah so doug let's let's move back to you in a little bit into this second edition of the book. Fire scaping protecting your home with a fire resistant landscape which is Just coming out from wilderness press you describe the basic concept of fire scaping and you put it into the context of its general broad history when you went to approach the putting together of this second edition of the book. Describe what you were working with. Describe the idea of the zones and then we'll move on to the idea of of challenges and potential successes by all means. Now I can describe the zone theory. That's no problem. Anybody in that room can one. But when like Bensaid when you deal with a fire you see all these other things and it was all those other things really motivated the second edition so just let me cover the his own theory. So the Joan theory from from the stuck structure to thirty feet out is zone one and it's defensible space it's primary job. Aub is to withstand intense heat an onslaught of fire branch so without igniting and then it also has to care for the occupants it has high recreational value nutritional value further out thirty one feet to sixty to seventy feet out is zone. Two Primary Job with zone is to stop a wildfire. So that's where the ground fire or the canopy fire is actively extinguished and then further out zone threes where you you actively slow the fire so your thinning and removing the dead dine in diseased vegetation all while trying to encourage biological title diversity and ecological health. But really the reality is what we've all seen is in emergency in mass evacuations in these fire fire tornadoes and firestorms is roads all of a sudden play a bigger role than just thirty feet of defensible space. And the actual condition of the structure. Sure in the Wolseley fire in Malibu sixty percent of the homes that were lost a burnt with no direct flame contact and forty percent of of those had burned from the inside out they just couldn't withstand that firebrand attack that swarm of fire that had was pummeling lean their structures for a week. And so this book really prioritizes those two things roads as chapter number one pictures is chapter number two and then we get into the landscape in the latter chapters we make sure that people can flee and fight and at their house can stand and West and those firebrands. Yeah so one of the things. It's really interesting to me is of course. There is no perfect fire resistant. Landscape it. It just doesn't it. That's just not you can get better resistance and better resilience but when you're in the face of have a very big fire your it's a gamble. You just don't know what's going to happen even with really good preparation But really good preparation No matter how much space you have around you We'll we'll help it it. Does we saw it. We see it all around us here and I think all areas that have been hit by fire in California and beyond see this same thing And a lot of it has to do. It feels like to me with being aware being as educated as you can on current theory because with each one of these big fires in these different situations were learning different things we see different things happening like structures that burned down without any immediate fire or as we saw in paradise with lack of preparation and houses right next to each other the day. Sometimes we're causing the ignition not the landscape. The you know not the trees not the the gardens and so I would guess that a lot of my audience. This is aware of a wonderful podcast. That is being aired on north state public radio this fall and was first aired in in early October and produced and managed by Matt Fiddler who is the producer and editor of this program called California burning. And there's I five episodes and it goes into depth on a lot of these more complex issues. I really wanted to talk about this from the perspective of a gardener. You're a gardiner who loves my garden and who my audience are also people who love our gardens and in the aftermath of the Campfire. All I could think of was how to reach out to my gardeners and say how can we help. Like how can we get you back in the dirt with plants making friends again because after a fire where you're seeing the entire landscape around you burn all of a sudden your garden might seem scary and unmanageable and unhospitable. In way that is kind of anathema to anyone who is a natural plants person so I think my goal with the remaining part of our conversation as a group here is to to speak from the gardening perspective. Not The house not you know But for the most part I guess we're also talking about are people that have CBS space for a garden. So we're talking about this wildland urban interface this line and what we can do to make sure we have healthy gardens that are are full of life and not fire as little fire hazards as possible. Does that make sense. Yes I'm Jennifer jewel and this is cultivating place in honor of the one year anniversary of the devastating campfire tire in my region of Interior Northern California. Were speaking today with Kelly. Jane Deandre and Ben Heart of the Butte County. Fire Safe Council as well as with Doug Kent author of Fire scaping which has a new edition out now from wilderness. Press stay with us. We'll be right back for more. It's Jennifer anyone who has lived through. A large natural disaster knows how imprinted it is on your heart your mind your memory your every sense two thousand thousand eighteen campfire is one of those imprints in my region and we'll be going forward. We all have stories from the first day and the subsequent seventeen days and onward from their stories of heartbreaking loss and likewise heroic human helping hands from the first moment to the last two now even as rebuilding and recalibrating goes on. Fire is a part of the life cycle no matter where you live really but especially in the drier and western regions of the US. It's an important part part of the cycle an understanding we're learning more about all the time especially in relation to historic and indigenous understanding understanding of fire and its uses and then in current and future models of how we address it live with it. Designed towns owns communities more effectively with fire in. Mind if you haven't had a chance to listen in to the extensive new podcast California L. OF -fornia burning. I think you'll find it riveting moving and really informative. It's a special five part radio series and podcast cast of North State public radio produced by Matt. fiddler Sara Bohannon and Greg mcvicar. It's available now at my an S. P. R. DOT DOT COM California burning dot net. Or wherever you get your podcasts. I really hope you'll check it out now back to our conversation for station with Kelly Jane. Deanna Ben Heart and Doug Kent on the ideas behind fire scaping and the importance of gardeners in preparedness. This is cultivating place conversations on natural history in the human impulse impulse to garden. We're back to our conversation with Kelly. Jane de Anda and Ben Heart of the Butte County. Fire Safe Council as well. As with Doug Kent Hint author of Fire scaping exploring how gardens and gardeners can be critical emissaries of good care practices for soil soil habitat community and catastrophic event preparedness like fire flood. And more no matter where you live. So the Fire Council has a program for free we can come out and do a home assessment and then includes the yard as well and so over the years we've been to a number of homes around the county and one of the things that we find is that folks really want their defensible space clearance but they don't want their yard touched meaning the plants that they have put in there on purpose and and rightly so. Because that's this relationship. We planted this plant. We we love it and we've tended it for a long time time so we recently had a A resident WHO's interested in getting some help but had planted rosemary down this hillside which is a great corrosion control but as a fire wick right up to her structure and she had you know it's been there twenty years and she loves it for us to really make any difference with the rest of the vegetation. TATION that's out from that zone We can invest money out there. But it's not gonNA help her home survive really. She has to let go over attachment at the Rosemary Rosemary. And she's not going to so I think that part of attachment and somehow recognizing the the landscape we put with intention may need to be changed and that's really hard to accept Yeah but in the face of a fire and the aftermath of a fire your attachments have a way of changing it. Is this opportunity to say. Would we love more my my neighborhood my house my life or my rosemary in having being that being opportunity to learn about different kinds of plants different ways to plant different ways to irrigate and like these zones are working to then put those to to best effect so that we can keep some of the plants we love and be safer right right and To jump off a college and said you know the way that you plan out your garden can also be part of your fire safe plan. And so it's not just the plants that you plan but it's also the way that you put in your walkways and things like that like you incorporate that into your first zones as part of your fire our protection strategy. Yeah so in. Terms of challenges attachment I see is definitely one of them especially with you know maybe older gardeners or if someone who's been gardening in a space for ten twenty forty years those plants are friends and family members so We have to kind of work with that. What what would you add to this list? Doug but I think I Think County Jane and Ben Might be able. I want to agree with this is is at the end of the day. Plant list themselves are a unimportant. And it's really the condition of the plant I've seen Oleanders set ablaze. And just put out a helped put out. You know cause a house to go down oleanders which are one. The main plants that we planned for privacy and in fire country. I'm sat next to a burnout house with lime juniper right next to it and so plant plant list after awhile become a vague thing and you start realizing that it's really the condition and the age of the plant that is paramount to the success of that landscape. Even if I can add anything. It's that we need more gardeners and fire country who need more people. Invested in the generation of their landscape and the the health of it and gardeners are inherently really good at that and reviving something or renewal is part of their backborne and their creed. So if you're not and a gardener and if you just pay people to maintain your landscape you. I don't think you understand the importance of your role in regeneration and renewal and that's essential. We have to replace laced fire in our urbanized areas and Californian and our energy does it. Fire has so many benefits and urges cleans it Renews Gardeners. have done that historically around there. Lots until recently until the last seventy years or so. Yeah I think this is such a great point because when I think about the fire last year and I think about working out at my partners House that morning with the you the the cloud happening in the the sound of propane tanks exploding in paradise up above us and you know he had spent he has he spends ends all year getting ready. Like you know. We'd eating grass and removing ladder fuel and pruning up and removing dead and diseased seized foliage and branches from his property. One of the things that just was astounding to me in his canyon was to see how the fire went went through and the the some of the plants that you I have always been told were terrible. Fire Dangers We're fine. They did find. They didn't they did not they were not the firebrand with you. Thought they were going to be. And I'm thinking here of Eucalyptus did fine. They were they were watered. They were they had deep roots something about the way. This fire moved the way our humidity was that I mean so low at that time the same thing with the gray pines they did not like blue light up immediately so it was interesting to have some of those preconceptions removed from For Myself Man's Anita's that were well watered and well tended around a garden they were fine The the fire just moved right through underneath. I need them and it went to dryer more congested areas. So I I love this concept of thinking not about what the plant is specifically. Yeah how it is cared for and the condition that it's in because that certainly proved to be true from my experience At the fire. Okay Yeah Kelly Gene. For a number of years people passed us for plant list right and so you see cooperative. Extension has some wonderful resources for gardeners. I'm sure sure most folks know of that and they have always said what Doug just go to that. It's really not the plant itself but how watered it is where it's placed and condition and it's just a really tough sell. People don't like that answer they want to know as a Rosebush more flammable than you know a coffee berry Bush versus as a toy on Bush and I think it's GonNa take a long time. Push to change that paradigm of thinking that being said we also have a board member on the council. Who's part of the Statewide Garden Club? And he has been touring around the state providing education on these type of topics. And so I'm really excited for that particular organization that's working with Gardner's on around the state as their starting on their journey to understand how other gardens impact their fire setting and I'm sure they're going to be excited about Doug's book. Yeah and is this ward ward abriel and so describe a little bit. I if you can summarize some of what he what he found as a garden club member so the California Garden Club Inc.. CGI has chapters all around the state and they're part of the National Garden Clubs so I think he's all over the West and even in Hawaii. Do you have any sense like any summary of what his takeaway is is at this point hum word came to us two years ago. We had a a summit meeting. Cold bans capable. Planning in that case landscape is the term for large scale as we he would use it and landscaping and so it was just a misnomer that we got him to the meeting and he immediately said well. Why isn't this information being shared with gardeners and so from that he he he was really just recognizing there was a void? That conversation wasn't happening in the Garden Club community at the time and so through a series of power points and talks and literature and going to many conventions and the state fair. He's really think helped nurse that foster that new cultural change. Yeah Yeah so first of all let me ask if this because one of the questions that people ask me all the time and I'm sure you get all the time it comes back to this desire. We have for a bulletproof list. Give me the list of plants that are fire resistant Just like we want one that deer resistant and blight resistant. Have you seen a a qualitative difference in using a native plant versus a non native plant palate in your experience. Let's start with you gene doing. Well we try to promote native plants constantly so may handle pockets to individuals that has a native plant brochure in there and we just partnered recently with the we need a plan societies while the recovery guide. Yup I personally feel that. The native plants are adapted to the environment and they are the preferential plant to put in the land and and so we have a native landscape at our office and a treasurer to see the hummingbirds com Getting food out of the flowers and I I am mm sad when I see our foothill communities From an urban standpoint planting all non native trees and landscaping that's really not contributing to the ecological integrity. Because over time it's really going to change the amount of food that there is the habitat so we have tried to really encourage that thought process but ultimately intimately Supply and demand. It's easier to go to a store that has paul native plants then yet and so the thing I was thinking about is that In terms of there can't be like specific target list. If you plant this. You won't lose your home. That just doesn't exist now it's a plan. It has combustible. You can't get around that but think about general trends and patterns so you think about something like conifer needles ones especially once they dry out there. Extremely flammable. So if you want something that's got a higher air resistance. Maybe think about something like a deciduous tree like a red bud or You know black oak or something like that something where you can easily remove that litter at the end of the season and during the actual act of fire season it's got a lot of inherent moisture to it and not as much resonance compounds and things like that that contributes to flammability. So if you're the closer you get to your home home. Think about plants that are going to be increasingly resilience both due to the way that you water them and you structure their garden passing like that but also just the inherent flammability qualities of the plant so so further away from the home you know experiment with things that have higher flammability potential end closer to the home things that have lesser flammability potential. So just think about that. That is a general concept. Doug would you have anything to add to that. Oh heck yeah so well they they may not agree with me I have seen a shift in California. I've been gardening for forty years. I am seeing less gardeners now than ever in my I time. The adults the young adults that were producing have no knowledge of basic medicine. Basic food plants just basic plants stuff stuff that would have been common knowledge eight years ago and so when I designed landscape or work in a landscape I try to put in the plants. That will most likely likely engage the occupants to pull them out of their house to pull them off their screens to get him into the garden to get that health to get that respiratory the immunity all all the benefits of gardening and so sometimes that's needed plants that you know work in southern California one of the most diverse regions of the entire. US US and really. Sometimes I've got to work with Asian plants were or African. Plants are plants That will these occupants will identify with will excite about and get him outside engaged in their landscape and be net force of renewal and regeneration and so my goal is really to get more gardeners. And I'm going to do it by hooker by Crook and if I come down and say only California natives it's really a a pious point of view and it's may not meet the individual needs of the clients and I understand our reasons to plant natives but I also so understand are reasons that we need more gardeners in our communities and so I'm I'm working trying to get more gardeners out in into their landscapes. Yeah Yeah Yeah Kelly. Genius Dad Doug I wanted to share with you. We just bought a house in paradise two weeks ago and it's beer fairly fairly devoid of vegetation. It was built in nineteen seventy seven and The structures immediately around it all survived the fire. But the thing that's been fascinating to look at what plants have survived five knowing that it's roughly forty year old property so there's lilacs and there's quints and there's violence And those are very old school garden plants. Yeah so I think you know. Speaking of what might be a cultural acceptance of plants from normal gardens. That's something that identify from you know years and years of seeing old-timers gardens either old timer garden plants. Yeah it's just really neat to see need that. Well it's funny. How just talking about the importance of planting natives as well? But I didn't even think about it when I was I moved into my house. I've been forest ranch Back in October but one of the very first things I did in the speaks about. Douglas Sustain. I wanted my yogurt bar out in front of my house so the first thing I did was I planned blackberry or a blueberries and strawberries that way it would draw me outside. And while I'm picking my blueberries I notice myself kicking away. Some of the dead vegetation knows also around my house because I was order out there. So it's a really good point. I'm Jennifer Jewel and this is cultivating place in honor of the one year anniversary of the Campfire fire in my region here of Northern California. Were speaking today with Kelly. Jean deandre and Ben Heart of the Butte County Fire Safe Council were also also joined by Doug Kent author of Fire scaping which is out with a new addition from wilderness. Press stay with us. We'll be right back from Okay so thinking out loud this week really really big thank. Thank you to all of you. Who reached out to share your enthusiasm and support? And congratulations about the announcement in this month's of you you from here about the March Third Twenty twenty publication of my first book. It seems so long and getting here. The title of the book is the Earth in her hands. Seventy five extraordinary women working in the world of plants as I shared heard the views letter. I'm deeply humbled and grateful to have been given the honour by timber. Press of writing this book and I'll forever regard regard the year that I spent immersed in the research and writing about the work of these seventy five women as one of the most grounding expanding ending and meaningful years of my working life to date a year which made me more hopeful than I have been in a long time and and one that fired me up with even greater passion. For the importance of plants people and the plant human relationship these women leading collaboratively and horizontally and from a sense of community strength are great models who reframe how we we see leadership at all and they've inspired me to be even more dedicated to making the world a better place even in small always as some tiny effort to live up to their work and all that they bring to the plant world all that they bring to the world in general as an interconnected interdependent whole you can stay up to date on all things about the book publication in celebration of Women's history month and International Women's Day twenty twenty. You can preorder your signed copies and stay up to date on when and where. I'll be speaking peaking around the country in twenty twenty about the book at the new books and Events Tabs at cultivating place dot com. This is a long long long time dream. Come true friends and couldn't be more thankful for you all being part of my community community through it. Thank you for your support of this passion project and for your belief in the power plants and plants people together. We really do make a difference so garden on now back to our conversation with Kelly gene. Deanna Ben Heart and Doug Kent went on the ideas behind fire scaping. This is cultivating place conversations conversations on natural history and the human impulse to garden. We're back to our conversation with Kelly Jane Deanna and Ben Heart of the Butte county fire. Safe Council missile. We're also joined by Doug Kent author of Fire Scaping as the four of US entered the final segment of our conversation. We discuss more specific strategies to approaching fire scaping from the first five feet out from the house to the very edges of your property so so the first three to five things Kelly. Jane is looking at her landscape by far. The most important is the first five feet. So if I'm your designer owner I'm going to pull all shade structures all those elements those flammable elements that are commonly found in a garden at least five feet off destructor. No combustible mulches around the structure and only the most fire resistant plants coral bells and implants like quince and Azaleas the in Rhododendrons. Within that first five feet river rock would be my role my mulch and then when I moved out I would look at how I would do like Bensaid. How how my lane out the paths? I really want to attract the firemen and emergency responders and I want to give him wide and stable past work on rush around the property. So where my patios audio's big is her are the past stable and then further out. It's really this constant endeavor of removing the three DS dead dine in disease vegetation and so the further out I go. It's more about maintenance and management rather than just flat out selection so those would be my biggest recommendations. Okay okay then what would you add. Yeah I just like to see. Say that You know if you're going to go with all the problems of planting the space for yourself and cultivating your space ace make sure it has survivability so make sure it's well watered well irrigated if you can afford to put a natural irrigation system in you can only do yourself benefit but make sure those is plans aren't dead dying or disease in one of the best ways to do that is keeping them waterton happy. Yeah Yeah I'm just really Resonating with Doug about that I buy feet right and we had started a campaign talking about that last summer. And that was what Ward Abriel took to. The Garden Club was a powerpoint presentation on the first five feet and we've seen so many examples apples in the campfire where it did make a difference and so with this little house that we have. That's very bear. I can't wait to get rock around that I uh-huh yesterday was out with the kids. Just like you say getting them to chop on a Bush and so they ended printers and they're just chopping away and I was picking up nails in the first five feet thinking okay. We can get some shade cloths. Here's some rocks so The other component with that or the wooden fences in this house. We have a wooden fence right up to the citing an and all around Paradise where people have rebuilt were the home survived and they refenced. They're put their differences right up to the citing. So that's just something that we all. We all want privacy But it's just a real bad wick so we look forward to figuring out we're going to do a chain link fence stretch of you know five feet off the house. or how will mitigate that. Yeah Yeah and if I could also throw in one more thing. If there's one thing I would absolutely love to see especially new homeowners and landowners like myself do is get the the invasive out that Scotch Broom has got to go highly. Flammable love disturbed spaces. Get Away from your house as soon as possible now as one of the first things we did on our property. Yeah yeah one of the things that was interesting to me. On the day of the fire last year was that there there was there had been a lot of very carefully thought out regular maintenance to my partners property and you the weeding and the and the removing of ladder fuel things like this but there are little tasks that we as Gardiner's get behind on and those is became really important that morning and so I'm thinking here of you know it was November. It been really dry. It been really warm. We'd had win so leave. Were starting to fall. They had started to accumulate up against the house We had because we were hoping rains. Were coming maybe we'd gotten in behind a little bit on the water right around the house because we were hoping the rains. We're going to start taking over Some of our tools. Some of our like garden stuff had had accumulated on the porch around the house so it was interesting to And he and his family lived in this canyon for ages and so they had a very clear sense. Serve clear everything you can't around the house rake all the leaves. You know back as far away as you can from the house from underneath the plants around the House get the sprinklers. Going all around the plants around the house and the fire went straight through this property that the house survived and the fire went straight straight up to that line where we had been able to rake away from the House and that was very very powerful to to us to see that And he had a would his would deck but it would weak watered and it was clear of other fire things and so You know some of it's luck but that preparation didn't hurt well. It's really interesting to hear. You say how you know later in the season. You're you're gardening. Equipment start accumulating closed but one thing that a lot of gardeners have around is a leaf blower Leaf blowers especially. If there's a fire looming or impending can be one of your absolute best assets because that blower can get underneath your deck and blow all that litter accumulation out really quickly Lee and gutters gutters got gutters get the lead out of your gutters. If you had time to get up on your roof leaf blower get the gutters cleared out. You can do yourself nothing but favors yeah usually lower forty got it. Doug did you have anything to add there. Oh yes I just WANNA congratulate your partner on having this fire country ethic and I think we all need that you know if you live in beer bear country you know the protocol all trash cans them strongly you leave nothing out no cat food or dog food and you make a mistake once and you pay for it and fire country entry living in fire country. It's just the same thing we have to live with this ethic every day day in and day out and then at the peak of the season perform these certain rituals raking the watering and it pays off and somehow Kelly Jane Ben and I really need to encourage this fire country ethic and it's no different than bear our country Cayo country or earthquake country. It's it just how you live on that land. I really WANNA congratulate your partner. He seems like a knee guy he he is and I think that combining that ethic with that I five feet is really one of the things that I would stress to any Gardner as we all get behind like we. You know there is some scotch broom that's gotten out of control by the end of the season at the edges of the property but you cannot do everything everything all the time you cannot be on top of it but if you can keep that ethic rate up until we are out of fire season in that first five feet that is a great great place to start. You don't have to take on your whole garden list. That didn't get done this year if you can do it in that first five feet. That's great that's great. Start Yeah I think we've already really established this but I because I'm a gardener and this is my like thing in life I I WANNA I WANNA go back around as a group to the idea that being fire safe does not mean we don't garden it. Means we garden more consciously consciously and more strategically and with even more passion. Maybe and I would like each of you to sort of maybe talk a little bit about why that's important to you because his you can have a concrete garden you can But that doesn't mean your fire safe. So maybe maybe speak to the importance of this. And let's start with you doug. I would love to speak to the importance of just gardening. I think it's a divine profession or divine endeavor you it's one of the few groups that can actually undo or mitigate pollution and damage to the environment and architect will build and they can just reduce their impact but they could never stop the resources or the pollution they can just reduce it and we can actually undo it when it's far more than just the esoteric stuff. It has incredible personal health. C. Gardeners have asthma allergies better bone density less depression more feeling to well being higher memory uh-huh from gardening and I don't know if you know this but if you split the whole. US POPULATION HALF GARDENERS IN NON Gardeners Garner's fourteen years longer than non gardeners ninety percent of the people living over one hundred or gardeners. So it's really would love to see a gardening ethic and as a consequence of your your energies in your garden. You'll be less flammable consequence in. Its we have so much. The garden has so much to provide from health and nutrition to medicine. It's just a shame that we really don't have more people out just enjoying these benefits. The Mother Nature gives us right outside our front door so my job is a fire fire. Expert is to increase the number of gardeners. I feel that that's my sort of my mandate so Kelly Jean As a kid my mom was it's always planning flowerbeds and she became a master gardener and all of the years of my childhood. She had a garden and I was always frustrated with her for planning flowers because because I felt like they were a waste. They weren't making food. They weren't doing any particular thing and it wasn't until a couple years ago when I was standing in the house looking out at one of the flowerbeds she had planted. That's very drought tolerant Butterflies were all over. It and I thought you know that's what she's been doing. This whole time is feeding butterflies. Ace thoughts was what she was doing. and so I'm really looking forward to passing that down to my kids and part of the challenge and for us in the campfires. That on this phlegm system burned that provided water to my parents property where we had lived with them habitation for over a decade and my my mom had said a couple weeks ago that she's just wondering if they're supposed to be there any longer because she can't garden there's not water for her to us and it was just one of those sad things things of her purpose there on that land build a garden. If she can't do that why she there and I know that you'll find her way and she will find a way to keep gardening But that really is the ethic and the duck speaking to yeah now just encouraged people garden because having a garden connects you to your land and once you get out into your land and his are working on your guard and you start to really take ownership over that space one thing that we talk about forest ranches that as a landowner. You aren't just a property owner. You're also a land manager manager and you are responsible for managing that land and so as part of just being outside and connecting with your space having that connection to unwind custodian for it and Care Care for it and makes you want to keep pushing out your defensible space further and further and further. So you're out on your property the more you WanNa take care of it so garden for safety not. Yeah Yeah I like that and I think as we as we grow older as we go through the different phases of our life we we see gardens differently. You know we see You might go through a phase where you want the yogurt bar and then you go through phases where you just want flowers and bees and birds and bugs and Whatever it might be I think You know something. Like thirty eight percent. As of the last census that I saw thirty eight percent of Americans identify defy as gardeners. And I think for me a little bit sort of a sister a mandate to your mandate doug is to keep reminding those people whose impulse to gardening so strong. Like your mom's Kelly Jean that it is not just a nice endeavor. It is a necessary endeavor and it is not superfluous. It is an just a powerful and as you say Doug a divine pursuit that needs to be its importance. I think is important to to remind everybody. Who Does it? Remind them that it is important work. I'd love to stop like end with plants themselves. Great because they are what what we love when we got there part of what we love and they're connected to the soil and the soil life and health in the air the air health and wildlife. If you had three plants that you that you you personally like to have in your garden and in your Fire Safe Garden I would love to have you tell us about them. Let's start with you DUG Co.. I knew it I knew you were going. I don't I only have two. I was thinking of all the berries like bend but Coral bells is just phenomenal. Who Gra yeah? It's incredible Most Year ferns are magnificent and their fire evolved but really them I love the food crops strawberries blackberries symbol berry. Like you get up there. Those would be having food right outside. The door would be just it for me. The Bee's knees so those that would be my three and that's a really nice three because you got flowers you have a beautiful foliage in the ferns and you have fruit to eat. So you're feeding yourself self and the beauty and the wildlife like I like your threesome. What about you Kelly? Jane I really would like the kids to pick and so oh the summer we had one tomato plant for the three year old and my daughter is really interested in the the squash and the corn and on my middle son. I'm not sure what he would be drawn to. But you think cucumbers help things that they can eat as the result of this endeavor so so mine split up a little bit between the garden and landscape to one of my absolute favorite things about living up in the mountains is the air at night during the summer and the fall on just smelling the trees breathing and being able to be part of that like in the early evening. So cedars fire resistant resilient in their own way so I would probably go for Cedars on the one hand but then also during the summer. My absolute favorite thing is growing the things that just tastes better when they come off your land and so I love tomatoes rose and I loved growing basil picking up some Mozzarella cheese and a little drizzle Balsamic on top and Sitting on the porch smell the pines eating on deposits delightful for those are great. I like your gardens. I think if I if I was going to add I would add. The canopy layer to get those trees breathing back and forth fourth with me so an oak and I love the under storey Red Bud for me and then I might go with the hookah as well because I love those but then I'm not eating anything I'll have to think about something to eat in my garden but Maybe I'll visit your gardens Thank you so much for being guests on the the program today. It's been a pleasure to speak with you. I'm so excited that you are going to be in our area at the end of November Doug for the Fire Safe Council. We'll have all the information about that on the cultivating place dot com website. But absolutely please go to the Buke County Fire Safe Councils Council's website which is built fire. Safe Dot net and you will find all of these resources from Plant ideas gardening gardening techniques the services they offer and more information on attending. Doug's talk at the end of November. Okay thank you all for being with us today. Thank you thank you Jennifer so much. It's been great almost one year ago today on November eighth two thousand eighteen. The Campfire broke out in Butte County. California in honor of the tragic anniversary. We spoke today with Kelly. Jane Indiana and Ben Heart of the Butte County. Fire Safe Council as well as with Doug Kent author of Fire scaping protecting your home with fire resistant. Landscape all of these three believe in the importance of gardeners in fire country as critical emissaries areas of good care and good preparedness practices for the soil for the habitat for the community and catastrophic event preparedness. snus no matter where you live. Join US again next week. When we celebrate the beauty flavor and diversity of herbs and spices as with creative gardner sue gets whose book a taste for herbs helps us to prepare for winter and the holiday cooking ahead in partnership partnership with our gardens? There are so many ways people engage in and grow from the cultivation of their places cultivating in place is a listener supported co production of north state public radio over at cultivating place dot com. This week make sure to see a lot. Got More graphic information and images from the new edition of fire scaping as well as images

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