As another epic wildfire season in California draws to a close, I realize I need a much better way to protect my house.
I have 20 (mostly) steep, South-facing acres in Mediterranean climate with a mix of chaparral and live oaks in Northern California.
Before I get into specifics, I thought it would be good to ask what are some good general strategy advice and plan from there.
I wanted to share some info I have found so far:
Bill Mollison's Permaculture for Fire Control
The idea of using trees as a heat radiation barrier seemed interesting, but I'm skeptical that this could work. Does anyone have examples of this working.
- I assume any tree that could help stop would require summer irrigation to be wet enough. Maybe the irrigation system doubles as a fire suppression sprinkler? Maybe the irrigated orchard is located as a fire break?
- Any suggestions on fire retardant trees?
- I have heard prickly pear may be a good choice?
- The other ideas on house sprinklers seemed useful.
Cal Fire Defensible Space
Trying to use these guidelines for defensible space and planting trees in silvio pasture way to create fire breaks between the rows.
- I've heard goats used for brush control make poor milking goats and well bred milking goats are expensive?
- Is it possible/recommended to have a larger group of random goats from a livestock auction for eating brush and a few special dairy goat managed separately? They would need to be kept seperate since the auction goats probably have CAE and wouldn't get access to the better feed. This seems like it would double my work?
- How about mixing sheep (or chickens) with the goats to keep brush down?
- Best way to protect mature tee trunks from goats? will wire mesh work?
What are the best ways to employ these strategies?
What other strategies are people employing to manage wildfires?
Edit: I should add - I've had 4 goats before and when they weren't making a mockery of my fence, they were standing on my car or breaking into the chicken coop to steal chicken feed. I was unimpressed with the land clearing, but they might have been spoiled goats in too big a paddock - normally they just wait until I came home to lure them back to their hutch with fresh hay. I have a catch-22 that I need the goats to clear the land to put in fences, but I need fences to put in the goats to clear the land??? Cows maybe?