07.25.12

California Wildfires: Seven Fire Hits Close to Home

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With all the recent horror stories we have been hearing about the wild fires across the southwest and California, it is nice to hear a good outcome on occasion. We received such an email last week from  one of our clients.

The message notified us that their residence, designed by Blackburn Architects, PC and constructed by Crocker Homes, found itself in the middle of the Seven Fire, a wild fire, that blew through the foothills of the Sierra Mountains on July 10th. Finished earlier this year, the four bedroom, 3,950 square foot private residence is located in Seven Legends Ranch overlooking Lake Don Pedro.

Luckily, the wild fire was first spotted by a plane that was helping fight another fire in the area. According to authorities, the fire destroyed over 800 acres in a very short period of time. Though the entire area around the property was consumed by the fire, the house survived the conflagration due to the defensible space fire protective measures installed during construction.

Defensible space fire protection measures, also known as “firescaping,” are fire control methods instituted in the California code that focuses on the landscaping around a building. The concept targets the area within 100 feet of the building and emphasizes fuel reduction by specifying appropriate spacing and separation of plant types. Plant selection, segregation, and spacing all play a major role in preventing the spread of fire between different types of vegetation and in an effort to reduce its ability to reach the structure.

Although the design and installation of the measures tend to add to the initial cost of construction, they have been proven to work. Not only does this helps save lives, but it also helps prevent rising insurance costs in the country’s fire prone areas. In Seven Legend’s case, the firescaping provided sufficient time for the local fire department to deploy to the property, spray the home with fire retardant, and save it from being completely destroyed. Our thoughts go out to all those who have not been as fortunate.

Photos and news footage below.

Local news footage

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