Fire sanity |

Fire sanity

In response to Joanne Drummond’s Other Voices column: Four reasons why her column is overly simplistic:

1. Invasive, nonnative plants often invade cleared spaces and they may be more flammable. North San Juan Ridge offers the perfect example. Scotch broom is literally eating the ridge. It is more flammable than manzanita. It has no benefit to wildlife.

2. Clearing has limited effectiveness. Nevada County relaxed its steep slope ordinance a few years ago. Fires are far more severe on steep slopes. New homes are still permitted in high fire prone areas.

3. Homes are still being built out of wood. Drummond says nothing about this or replacing your roof with a fire-safe one such as steel or cement shingles. Most homes burn down from flying embers before the fire even reaches your property like mine did.

4. Wildlife need native shrubs for cover and forage. They hide in them to prevent predation. A cleared shrub layer exposes wildlife like quail, towhees, black-tailed jackrabbits and the young of wildlife such as bobcats and fawns to higher predation levels equaling a steep drop in these animals. Wildlife need high protein forage which is obtained from native shrubs like buckbrush, deerbrush, and manzanita.

Being fire safe is just not that simple.

Virginia Moran

Citizens for Fire Safety Sanity

Grass Valley

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