Reduce Wildfire Risk on Your Property
Make your property safer from wildfire by addressing ignition points and creating defensible space
Wildfires can strike anywhere homes and wildland vegetation intermingle. If your home is located where wildfire is a real risk, taking practical measures to protect your property with defensible space can help your home survive a wildfire.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Clear twigs, leaves, pine needles, and other dead vegetation and debris from collection spots such as gutters, eaves, under porches and decks, window wells, and fence corners. These can act as ignition points for a falling ember.
2. Upkeep your lawn. A well-watered and maintained lawn will slow a wildfire from spreading and reduce wildfire intensity. If your lawn is brown and dry, trim it down. Always dispose of lawn trimmings and leaf piles quickly to reduce their potential as fire fuel.
3. Remove anything that can catch fire to beyond 30 feet from your house, sheds, and garage. Wood piles, wooden outdoor furniture, playsets, propane tanks, and anything that can ignite, keep it a safe distance from your buildings.
4. Prevent embers from entering your home by installing metal mesh no larger than 1/8-inch to cover exterior openings like the attic, soffit, and under-eave vents. Also, replace any missing or damaged roof shingles that expose your roof to embers.
5. Choose plants with high moisture content when landscaping your property. Plant them where they won’t touch the house when grown.
6. The lowest branches of mature trees should be pruned 6 to 12 feet from the ground. Treetops can ignite and spread the wildfire.
Do you have an emergency plan for your family should a wildfire threaten your property? Here’s how to assemble one:
1) Create a kit that includes emergency supplies, medications, personal identification, and other important documents. Store it in a safe, easily accessible spot for a potential grab-and-go.
2) Develop an evacuation plan with alternate ways to get everyone out of your home and neighborhood. Designate a meeting place. Practice the plan with everyone living in your home.
3) Engage your neighbors and local emergency services. By learning how your community is prepared to react to a fire, you will better understand how collectively you can ensure each other’s safety.
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