Wildfires are a real and present threat throughout the West, especially in Southern California and San Diego County. Many homes and businesses sit adjacent to steep canyons or rural landscapes choked with brush that can easily ignite from lightning, carelessness, or arson. This threat requires that all homes and businesses included defensible space in their landscape design to reduce the risk of fire damage and sometimes to even qualify for insurance coverage.
Prior to European conquest of California, the indigenous tribes living here used fire as a tool to keep meadows, creek beds, and forests clear of brush buildup. Should a wildfire or accidental fire occur, there was rarely enough fuel to create high-heat fires or devastating crown fires. These intentional burns also helped select for species that provided them with cordage, food, weaving materials, medicines, and forage for wildlife, as well as helped reduce disease and insect infestations in...
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