Steve Eden stood on a hill above his mother’s Thousand Oaks home with a view of her roof littered with dried, yellowing pine needles and leaves.
A firefighter who volunteers with the Ventura Regional Fire Safe Council had told him the debris can be kindling for wildfire embers and should be cleared from the roof and gutters.
“He said, ‘Definitely if you don’t do anything else, do this,'” Eden said shortly after the two had walked his 96-year-old mother’s property.
The volunteer offered the advice as he conducted a free assessment on how to protect or, in firefighter parlance, “harden” the home against wildfire.
The Edens heard about the council’sassessments from their real estate agent and friend Pat Hanley, who started handing out brochures to buyers, sellers and former clients after a new state law took effect requiring a home-hardening disclosure.
Brutal back-to-back fire seasons in 2017 and 2018 prompted California…