Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge joined with FormLA Landscaping on Saturday, September 8, 2018, to host a two-part panel discussion series created to help Southern California locals explore the ways home gardens and public spaces can help reduce the risk of fires, floods, and other natural disasters. The first session, “Creating Fire-Safe Landscapes” provided attendees with an overview of recommended plants and design strategies to help protect homes from wildfire. The second, “Utilizing LA’s Public Spaces” demonstrated how public spaces in Los Angeles can be used to combat fires, floods, and mudslides.
Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) Assistant Chief J.Lopez was a featured panelist for the first session, along with Theodore Payne Foundation for Native Plants Executive Director Kitty Connolly, and City of Sierra Madre Management Analyst James Carlson. The panel was moderated by FormLA Landscaping President Cassy Aoyagi.
Lopez addressed the impact climate change has made on the increasing number of fires in California. He encouraged attendees to be prepared and to not delay thinking about fire safety because fire season is now year-round. Attendees were given a copy of LACoFD’s new Ready!Set!Go! Wildfire Action Plan. The guide provides helpful information on creating and maintaining 100 feet of defensible space surrounding structures. A PDF of the guide is available for download at fire.lacounty.gov/rsg.