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Preparing for Santa Ana Winds

Now is the time to start preparing for the ‘Santa Ana Winds’, which typically blow late September through mid-December. Safeguard your home against the danger of falling branches and debris from your trees, be aware of wildfire dangers, make sure you have plenty of clearance around your home and be aware of evacuation plans if you live in fire prone areas.

Being proactive this time of year can save you time, money and heart ache. Have a visual ‘Tree Inspection’ to spot actual or potential hazards and recommend any hazard control measures that may need to be taken.

Then, for example, we can prune any heavy branches that are directly over your house, driveways, garage, fences, play areas, walkways, picnic tables, or any other potential problem areas. This is especially important if the branches or trunks show any signs of disease, insect infestation, decay or other physical damage (perhaps from vehicles, lawnmowers or storm damage). Or if there is significant damage to a tree we can inform you of your options.

Keeping your trees pruned and free of any unwanted debris is the first step to keeping your home and family safe during the ‘Santa Ana Winds’.

The second step is making sure your property is clear of any dry brush near your home if you live in fire prone areas. California has been hit hard by the lack of rain and our ground is extra dry this year. The vegetation around homes and properties has become kindling to fire and it is urgent to make sure that your property has the proper clearance to maintain fire safety as we head into the ‘Santa Ana Wind’ season.

Third, the U.S. Forest Service unveiled a website, for the Santa Ana Wildfire Threat Index, which it developed with meteorologist at San Diego Gas & Electric, UCLA researchers and the Desert Research Institute, which is the environmental research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education. The public now has access to the same daily predictions of wildfire danger that fire agencies have used for years, allowing residents to safeguard their homes.

The index rates how likely Santa Ana winds are on a particular day to rapidly spread a fire based on wind speed, humidity and moisture in plants and trees. The color-coded ratings are none (gray), marginal (yellow), moderate (orange), high (red) and extreme (purple).

With the new system, visitors to can click on one of four regions: Orange-Inland Empire, L.A.-Ventura, San Diego and Santa Barbara – and view the threat level for that day, as well as a five-day forecast.

Clicking on the region will reveal icons for weather stations. Clicking on a station will provide visitors with air temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity and elevation for that area.

Now is the time to get prepared before it’s too late. It’s just a matter of time before the first of many strong ‘Santa Ana Wind’ storms will hit the area. The health of your trees is essential to keeping your home, your property, family and pets safe year around.

Don’t get blown away by the Santa Ana’s! Take the first step and call Prunin Arboriculture and Landscapes for your FREE tree evaluation.

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