It has been many years since UC Cooperative Extension aka Farm Advisors have done an educational interest survey and updated our client contact database. There have been a lot of changes in our staff and many new farmers and ranchers have come into our counties so the time is right to update old information and let others, that are not familiar with our programs, join our clientele/supporter contact list.
We've also decided to go to a more modern program for informing the public and our supporters about the educational and research programs we offer in Mendocino and Lake Counties. The name of the program we'll be using is called Constant Contact.
We've learned from the Covid restrictions how to offer some of our educational programs through webinars, zoom conferences and social media. We realize not everyone likes some of these formats, or have poor Internet connection speeds. We are offering our traditional public workshops and field days again. We want to make sure you get our information through your preferred delivery methods. For some of you who may not be familiar with our programs, a few questions below will help you to know the specific areas we can provide information and research on and will insure you only get what you're interested in.
Thanks in advance for taking the time to fill out our survey. Personal information provided to us is confidential and will never be shared with anyone. If, after filling out our survey and receiving information from us, you no longer want to be contacted by us you may at any time asked to be removed from our contact database. All participants who submit a survey are eligible to enter a random drawing to win one of three Amazon $100 e-gift cards. We will be drawing for winners from everyone who opted in for the drawing and complete our survey.
The survey is on-line at: https://surveys.ucanr.edu/survey.cfm?surveynumber=7082
Please also share the link with others who would be interested in our programs. Thanks!!!
From time to time I find interesting research that sheds new light on specific topics that are worth sharing. Recently I came across one from researchers at my alma mater, the University of Arizona. The title is Jet Stream Changes Could Amplify Weather Extremes by 2060's. It is written by Daniel Stolte, University of Arizona Communications Science Writer and gives an overview of Postdoctorial Research Associate, Matthew Osman's work.
Here's a link: Jet Stream.
Hope you find it interesting!
Attached are the position descriptions for our County Ag. Tech position. Please help spread the word so we get a good pool of applicants. Thanks!!!!
This position is with the County of Mendocino and below is how someone would apply if interested. The position is a unique opportunity for someone that wants a diverse job as it would be supporting the UCCE Crop Advisors, Livestock and Range Advisor, and Forest Advisor in research projects. And would help with workshops and social media outreach. Great opportunity for a someone wanting to learn more about Cooperative Extension and agriculture and natural resources. We'd prefer someone with a BS or BA degree but good experience would be acceptable.
Sr. Ag Tech:
- Editor: John M Harper
- Author: Pam Kan-Rice
August 11, 2021
CONTACT: Pam Kan-Rice, (510) 206-3476, email@example.com
EDITORS: Images can be downloaded at https://bit.ly/3fVjMKS
Landscaping with wildfire exposure in mind can protect homes
What can Californians do to improve the chances that their homes will survive a wildfire? Simple actions taken around the home can substantially improve the odds that a home will survive wildfire, according to UC Cooperative Extension advisors.
During wildfire, structures are threatened not only by the flaming front of the fire, but also by flaming embers that are lofted ahead of the fire front and land on fuels such as vegetation or mulch next to the house, igniting new fires. Traditional defensible space tactics are designed to mitigate threats from the flaming front of the fire, but do little to address vulnerabilities to embers on or beside a structure.
"Without attention to ember-related risks, defensible space efforts only address a portion of the wildfire threat—especially during wind-driven fires in which embers are the primary source of fire spread," said co-author Yana Valachovic, UC Cooperative Extension forest advisor in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
An updated University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources publication describes how embers, radiant heat, and direct flame contact ignite buildings and shares low-cost actions residents can take to create effective defensible space.
"The new publication is up-to-date with the changes in California's defensible space guidance, and it addresses Zone Zero, or the missing ingredient, in defense space," Valachovic said. "The publication also provides a thoughtful discussion of plant lists and their limitations."
The odds of a home surviving a wildfire can be substantially improved through careful attention to three things: careful design and maintenance of landscaping; awareness and management of combustible materials on the property such as leaf litter, wood piles and lawn furniture; and incorporation of fire- and ember-resistant construction materials with appropriate installation and maintenance.
"You don't have to spend a lot to protect your home from these wildfire threats," said Valachovic.
Zone Zero, the area within five feet of the house, is the most vulnerable area around the home, according to the UC Cooperative Extension researchers. "During wind-driven fires, embers are the primary source of fire spread," Valachovic said.
They recommend removing combustible plants, planter boxes, mulches and wood piles within the five-foot perimeter of the house and beneath attached decks.
"While it may be a radical change, clearing the area next to the house will reduce the risk of ember-caused direct flame contact and radiant heat exposure, which are responsible for many home losses," she said. "Because embers can accumulate at the base of an exterior wall, it is also important to create a six-inch noncombustible zone between the ground and the start of the building's siding."
Colorful illustrations in the publication depict the three-zone defensible space strategy and show how spacing out trees on a sloped landscape can prevent fire from climbing from tree to tree to reach a house at the top of the slope.
The 12-page "Reducing the Vulnerability of Building to Wildfire: Vegetation and Landscaping Guidance" is available free for download at https://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/8695.pdf.
"Landscaping for fire is part of an overall strategy aimed at reducing risk to the home," said co-author Steven Swain, UC Cooperative Extension environmental horticulture advisor for Marin and Sonoma counties. "To reduce the risk of home loss, start at the house and work out from there," he recommended.
Swain, Valachovic and Stephen Quarles, UC Cooperative Extension advisor emeritus, are currently updating a publication on retrofitting houses for wildfire resiliency.
Steps for hardening houses against wildfire can also be found at the Fire in California website: https://ucanr.edu/sites/fire/Prepare/Building.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources brings the power of UC to all 58 California counties. Through research and Cooperative Extension in agriculture, natural resources, nutrition, economic and youth development, our mission is to improve the lives of all Californians. Learn more at ucanr.edu and support our work at donate.ucanr.edu.