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Do it now: Clear out brush and create defensible space

Posted at 8:17 PM, Mar 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-24 00:32:35-04

ALPINE, Calif., (KGTV) -- Some residents in Alpine are ramping up their yard work after Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a State of Emergency for the Calfornia's most wildfire-prone areas.

Alpine residents have a name for yard work.

"It's a necessary evil. We have to clear it out," Jonathan Hesse said. 10News met Hesse as he and his son Ben were raking brush and chainsawing a dead tree on their front yard.

"The drought, they [the trees] couldn't handle it anymore. So they died," Hesse said, pointing at the row of what used to be lush trees. He said the time had come to chop them down because he was sure they would ignite his entire 2.5-acre property.

In the last two decades, the Hesse's have had three close calls. Their last evacuation was the 2018 West Fire. Luckily, they survived, as did their home. But they are not taking chances.

"This year, there's a lot of weeds, and that's going to be tough to keep up with," Hesse said. Luckily, he has a helpful son and a sturdy tractor to help with the clean-up process.

They will eventually put their large pile of dead logs and branches through a wood chipper to make mulch. Thanks to the work they did today, the flammability of their home is much lower than it was yesterday.

"That's one thing we want to do. We want to make sure it doesn't get out of control," Hesse said.

This week, CalFire-San Diego posted a video to remind residents to clear up brush and create defensible space.
For more information, click here.