The key to erosion control is adequate planting to hold soil in place. However, planting can also increase fire hazards during warm weather. To reduce future fire hazards and still provide effective erosion control:
|CLEAR||native brush within 30 feet of buildings and limit brush height to 18 inches within 70 feet of buildings (Fig. 24). A limited number of specimen shrubs and trees can be allowed within 30 feet of a building (refer to your local fire codes for local requirements).|
|ELIMINATE||or reduce chaparral-type plants that serve as fuel for fires and control their regrowth (Figs. 23 and 24). The Forestry Division of the County of Los Angeles Fire Department notes the following species: Chamise, Red Shank, California Sagebrush, Common Buckwheat, Sage, Pampas Grass, Cypress, Italian Jasmine, Pine, Cape Plumbago, Cape Honeysuckle, and some varieties of Eucalyptus and Juniper.|
landscape clean. Remove litter under trees and shrubs and prune out dead growth. Remove dead and dry portions of ground cover and succulents. Leave space (15 to 20 feet) between remaining shrubs and trees to curtail the spread of fire.
NOTE: clearing or eliminating of vegetation in streambeds, ecologically sensitive areas or the Coastal Zone may require permits or authorizations from Federal, State, or local environmental regulatory entities prior to the start of the activities. Contact your local Building and Safety Office for identification of Federal, State, and local agencies with regulatory authority over your property.
|USE||planting techniques similar to landscaping in newly developed areas for recently burned watersheds. In general, installing smaller plants often produce the best growth. Diversity in plant selection is more desirable than planting only a few types. Spreading shrubs and trees are easier to establish and reduce long-term weed problems often associated with large areas of ground cover.|
|MINIMIZE||erosion with quick growing, fire-retardant ground cover planted with burlap mat, straw mulch, or chemical nutrients throughout areas to be protected.|
|AVOID||large leafed Ice Plants (Carpobrotus sp) on slopes because it tends to "drag" surface soils down when saturated.|
|SELECT||only fire-retardant noninvasive plants. The Forestry Division of the County of Los Angeles Fire Department notes the following commonly planted species as invasive: Capeweed, Australian Saltbush, Sea Fig/Ice Plant, Hottentot Fig, Pampas Grass, Broom, Russian Olive, Edible Fig, Blue Gum Eucalyptus, Algerian and English Ivy, Myoporum, Fountain Grass (all varieties), Canary Island Date Palm, Cape Plumbago, Black Locust, Brazilian and California Pepper Tree, Cape Honeysuckle, Periwinkle, and Mexican Fan Palm.|
|PLANT||fire-retardant, noninvasive shrubs or trees where ground cover or grass ends. The Forestry Division of the County of Los Angeles Fire Department recommends large tree species should not be planted under or near utility lines. Low branching or wide-tree species should not be planted near roads and driveways where they can interfere with emergency vehicles. Typically, trees should not be planted closer than one-half of their mature width to roads and driveways.|
|STRESS||rapid growth ground cover.|
|INCREASE||effectiveness of fire-retardant plantings with deep irrigation practices, which encourage deep root growth. Drip irrigation will concentrate the water where it is needed. Conventional overhead irrigation often causes erosion on steep slopes.|
|REMEMBER||rains can normally be expected to start in October, so plan accordingly.|
Fig. 23 UNCONTROLLED CHAPARRAL GROWTH