Dry weather conditions and carelessness can be a deadly combination here in our community. Some forest fires are caused by nature, but the vast majority result from man-made mistakes that can be avoided. As fire season threatens again this year, take time to safeguard your home or business. These fire prevention suggestions enable you to work from the ground up to better protect both your properties and the people of your community from encroaching wildfires.
- Clear natural debris from within 10 feet of any building — especially fallen leaves, tree branches, grass clippings, dead shrubs, dried-out vegetation and wood chips.
- Keep stored flammables at least 30 feet from all buildings — including all firewood, propane and gasoline tanks.
- Screen areas below patios and decks with wire mesh — to avoid leaves and other combustible materials from accumulating and possibly fueling a fire.
- Keep grasses and shrubs hydrated and trimmed — get rid of any browned materials that are dry and easily ignited and don’t let lawn clippings linger.
- Prune trees so their lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet above ground — wildfires can spread quickly to tree tops.
- Enclose under-eaves and soffits with vents or screens — affix 1/8 inch metal mesh to prevent embers from entering there or in exterior attic vents.
- Replace damaged shingles and roof tiles — so roofs are better protected from blowing and falling embers.
Follow local recommendations.
Your local government planning/zoning office will know if your property is in a high wildfire risk area. Find out about local ordinances you should be following. If you belong to a homeowners association, work with them to improve preparedness in landscaping, home design and building materials. Ask your fire department about how to prepare, when to evacuate, and the warnings your neighborhood should expect in the event of a wildfire. Be a good neighbor and make a positive difference in your community’s safety when it comes to wildfires.