Many thanks to The Independent for the article in this last issue about our talk Landscaping for Fire Safety! I was surprised to find that none of the attendees had been to one of forestry's firewise seminars. I hope more residents will avail themselves of this excellent resource--especially since it sometimes seemed the whole state was going up in flames this year. We went to one several years ago, and were impressed by the experience. While I was brushing up for the talk, I was amazed to find so much more online. California, Oregon, and Washington states have whole programs on firewise landscaping including plant material which was very helpful.
On a sad note, my heart goes out to the families who lost homes this year, but especially to the Mullanes who own Dixon's Apple Orchard. If you look for Honeycrisp apples every fall, they're usually Dixon apples. The Mullanes lost their home, outbuildings, and equipment but managed to save most of their trees--which they may now lose to the tons of ash carried down from the Las Conchas fires on monsoon rains. There will be a benefit on August 27th. The info is on their FaceBook page (www.facebook.com/pages/Dixons-Apple-Orchard).
There are a lot of things we can plan for--but a lot of things we can't. When it seems like too much effort to design a firesafe landscape, to consider choices carefully, to limb up trees, reposition plants, use good mulches, we should think how little effort that would seem with smoke bearing down on us.