One year after the devastating fires to the north, we are all keenly aware of the dangers of this dry season. On October 1, MAGC hosted a fire prevention seminar for the community, led by Master Gardener Katherine Randolph and the Ross Valley Fire Department. A near-capacity crowd attended this informative event, which not only illustrated the very real risks of fire in our area, but also gave practical tips for what we can do to prepare. We are all familiar with the need to create defensible space around our homes, and there are other ways in which landscaping can help protect homes against spreading fire, such as creating features from fire-safe materials such as concrete and stone, using fire resistant plants, and keeping trees pruned well away from structures. They also suggested ways to make your home safer from catching fire, including installing mesh screens on vents to keep embers out, and using thermal pane windows to prevent cracking in extreme heat.  The fire department outlined how to stay safe during an evacuation, and emphasized that we all need to have a plan and a kit prepared.  Check out FIRESafe MARIN for more tips.

The Ross Valley Fire Department recently inspected the MAGC grounds and found a number of steps we need to take to comply with fire safety codes. A major part of this project was the removal of tree limbs, dead wood and brush from all around the grounds, but with the help of the Pruning Guild that we were able to accomplish a huge amount in just a matter of hours. We would again like to thank Katherine Randolph and her team of skilled pruners who spread out over the campus and cleared away all manner of flammable material. As a bonus, the grounds look neat and tidy as well.