A lot of Northern California residents have property that borders public lands, and it can be frustrating when trying to establish defensible space for fire safety, only to have overgrown fuels just over the fence. The Bureau of Land Management is now allowing private landowners to apply for permits to clear vegetation on BLM land if it threatens their own property. Free hazardous fuels reduction variance permits are being issued by the Redding field office for lands in Shasta, Tehama, Trinity, Siskiyou and Butte counties. BLM staff will write permits specifically for each site after an inspection is complete. That includes surveys for endangered species and cultural resources. The process is all free of charge, but people are urged to act soon because staff may be unavailable when fire season gets closer. It can get started by calling 224-2100 or stopping by the BLM office at 6640 Lockheed Drive, off of Airport Road.