Firefighters Explain Importance of Defensible Space

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With critically dry drought conditions in California, firefighters are urging homeowners to make defensible space around homes not only in wild land, but also in urban areas.

"You could have an overgrown yard that's well within your fence line," explained Roberto Padilla of the Sacramento Fire Department. "You could have things that are in our way that may not be combustibles, but they get in the way of firefighters."

Over the weekend, firefighters battled three grass fires dangerously close to homes within Sacramento city limits: One on Saturday afternoon in Natomas destroyed a barn, another along San Jacinto Way badly damaged two homes on Sunday, and a Monday morning grass fire threatened several homes on Digger Street.

Now with legal 4th of July fireworks on sale, firefighters want to make sure people only use them on concrete, far away from any grass.

"That's defensible space," Padilla said. "You're keeping fuels away from the spark."

Padilla also recommends disposing all used fireworks in metal containers, and letting them soak in water overnight before taking them out to the trash.

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