defensible space

Succulents Give You A Fighting Chance Against Wildfires

Watching wildfires burn across Southern California including close to home in the Bonsall and Fallbrook areas of San Diego County is sobering, especially for a wildfire survivor like me. Most of you know my own story: my home in the Muth Valley area of Lakeside in San Diego County burned to the ground in the Cedar Fire of 2003. I wrote about the experience in a journal shortly after it happened, and posted it to this blog page several years ago. You can read it here. The largest of the fires, the Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, continues to burn and it’s likely to end up as the largest wildfire in California state history.… Read More

You Need Space: Defend Yourself From Wildfire

Create defensible space around your home to protect yourself from the threat of wildfires.
San Diego County residents woke up to a red flag warning today. A red flag warning means critical fire weather conditions are either happening now or will shortly. Any fires that develop may spread quickly, according to the National Weather Service. Count on it being the first of many this year. Wildfire is a fact of life in Southern California, and for many other people in the United States. The current drought hitting so many areas including San Diego makes it even more important to be aware of the potential danger of wildfire. Your landscaping can play a critically important role in protecting your home and your property from being damaged or destroyed by wildfire.… Read More

Changed by fire: surviving and thriving after a disaster

Scenes from the Cocos fire. Courtesy NBC 7
Introduction: This blog post is not the normal bits of advice or inspiration about green building, plantscaping, or living walls. After the events of this week in San Diego and an unusually early start to what appears to be a long, hot summer and wildfire season to come, I couldn’t help but think about my own experiences surviving – and even thriving – after a wildfire. I wrote a lengthy journal entry about my experiences with a wildfire in 2003, when my own home was burned to the ground in the Cedar Fire. While many things were destroyed – including my marriage – new life literally did grow from the ashes, taking me in a direction I never could have imagined.… Read More