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Avoid the tragic irony: How fire prevention can be a flammable affair

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Wildfire broke out in Riverside County near the Lake Elsinore area yesterday leading to some nearby evacuations. 

Although unconfirmed, the word is that the Rose Fire was accidentally started by a guy who was actually trying to prevent a fire in the first place. He was trying to do the responsible thing by clearing the brush around his home, when his mower sparked the blaze. Sigh.

So, we wanted to know: what is the best way to keep your home safe from wildfire, without starting one yourself? And who better to ask than a battalion chief. Take Two's A Martinez spoke with with CAL FIRE's Mike Mohler. 

Create a "Defensible" space

We always preach it's that 100 feet of defensible space meaning, from the foot of your structure, 100 feet out, it's maintaining your landscape. Removing any type of dead shrubs or trees, tree limbs from your roofline, maybe wood piles up against your house. That creates a barrier. It you give us the opportunity to defend your structure, that defensible space is a great tool for the fire fighters to use.   

Now you know how to responsibly keep up your home in a danger zone, keep these two important tips in mind: 

1. Don't mow after 10:00 AM

Things are just less flammable in the early mornings. So, if your lawnmower drives over a rock and starts a spark, it's a lot more likely to ignite later in the day. 

2. Keep lawn equipment well maintained

If equipment like weed eaters aren't in good condition, is can emit sparks from the motor. 

In short, do the right thing at the right time

You can find more advice on creating your own defensible space here.

To hear the full interview with Mike Mohler, click on the blue media player.

And keep up with the latest development with KPCC's fire tracker: