How did you do that?

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Some people seem to be able to make projects happen out of thin air.  Others recognize the need to take action for wildfire safety around their homes, but don’t know where to start. 

How did they do that?

One of the following successful projects may give you ideas of what you could do in your neighborhood.  Read about how residents in Contra Costa County made their homes and communities more fire safe. 

Below are two examples of our Before and After results

Lombardy Lane (Before)

Lombardy Lane (After)

Rossmoore (Before)

Rossmoore (After)

What to do?

Here are some of the activities you (or with the help of others) can do around your home and neighborhood to make it more fire safe:

  • Mowing or “weed wacking”
  • Removing dead materials
  • Tree thinning (cutting of small trees)
  • Tree trimming or “limbing up”
  • Brush cutting
  • Broom bashing
  • Chipping of cut materials
  • Goat grazing

First Steps!

All it takes is a willingness to start. 

Take a deep breath and realize you will not be able to do this all at once.  But one day at a time, one square yard at a time, one task at a time.  Start by focusing on any task and keep at it.  All it takes is a “Yes We Can” attitude.  Do the parts that you can imagine and know that all your efforts will add up.

If you see thistle, fennel, poison hemlock, French broom -- cut them. Or pull them.  Remove these plants before they go to seed.  In time your neighbors, seeing your work will realize that they can do the same for their properties.

Or, maybe you see dead branches on the ground.  Or, overgrown, dry shrubs below your children’s bedroom windows.  Pick them up, prune out dead materials.


Or, maybe you have a bigger vision and see goats grazing near your children’s school.  Or a crew working on the hillside below your homes

1.  If you imagine it is a fire hazard; it probably is.  So it is time to get to work.

2.  You help me and I’ll help you.  Ask your friends or neighbors.
It is often easiest to start with those friends and neighbors you know.  Ask if they would help you with a weekend cleanup, with the promise that you will help them the following week.  Friends and neighbors often have tools and know-how they are pleased to share.

3.  Professionals are here to help. 
Your local fire department and Diablo Fire Safe Council staff can help you prioritize what actions will give you the most protection.  Give us a call.

4.  Leverage.
Build upon other activities.  Many of the neighborhood success stories start with one person who sees an opportunity to leverage their work with the work of others.  Soon a chipping day is developed, a school service project underway, or a long-term fuel reduction project a community focus.