Firefighters would prefer homeowners have a hundred feet of space around home and property. And, is a state law. But, as the weather heats up, extra precautions need to be taken when clearing that space. Daniel Berlant with Cal Fire says it's important to do any clearing work with the correct tool and to use it while the temperatures are cool. Waiting until the heat of the day can be dangerous and costly.
BERLANT 18 "If a homeowner is negligent and they spark fire regardless of if they were trying to do clearance for a good reason, if they're negligent when the fire starts, they can be fined and cited and we will actually, in some cases, work at going after and recovering our suppression costs."
Berlant says about a third of all fires are caused by people using equipment under unsafe conditions. Cal Fire says if you haven't cleared space by the time summer heats up, you're probably better off waiting until next year.
The use of equipment under unsafe conditions is the official cause given for the Banner Fire. It burned 5300 acres near San Diego a couple of weeks ago.