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As communities expand into wildland areas, the risk of wildfires becomes a significant concern. Every year, countless homes and properties are threatened or destroyed by these unpredictable forces of nature. However, with proper planning and proactive measures, individuals and communities can significantly reduce the risk and impact of wildfires. Here are some essential tips for firewise safety:

 

  1. Create Defensible Space: One of the most effective ways to protect your home is by creating a defensible space around it. This means clearing away flammable vegetation, such as bushes, trees, and dead leaves, for at least 30 feet around structures. Beyond 30 feet, consider thinning trees and maintaining spacing between them to break up the continuity of fuels.

 

  1. Choose Fire-Resistant Materials: When building or renovating your home, opt for fire-resistant materials whenever possible. This includes using non-combustible roofing materials like metal, tile, or asphalt shingles, and siding materials such as stucco, brick, or fiber cement. Pay attention to windows as well; consider double-paned or tempered glass, which is less likely to break from radiant heat.

 

  1. Maintain Your Property Regularly: Regular property maintenance is crucial for firewise safety. Keep your lawn mowed, and remove dead vegetation promptly. Clean your gutters regularly, as accumulated debris can become a fire hazard. Store firewood, propane tanks, and other combustible materials at least 30 feet away from structures.

 

  1. Create a Wildfire Action Plan: Develop a wildfire action plan for your household or community. This plan should include evacuation routes, designated meeting points, and a communication strategy. Make sure everyone in your household understands the plan and knows what to do in case of a wildfire emergency.

 

  1. Stay Informed: Stay informed about wildfire risks in your area by monitoring local weather and fire conditions. Sign up for emergency alerts and notifications from local authorities. Pay attention to fire restrictions and bans, and follow them diligently. Stop by for our Firewise Awareness Presentation on June 21st from 11am – 1pm to learn more about how to stay safe! 

 

  1. Prepare Your Home for Emergencies: Take proactive steps to prepare your home for emergencies. Install and maintain smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Keep important documents, valuables, and emergency supplies in a readily accessible location, and consider creating a “go bag” with essentials in case of evacuation.

 

  1. Collaborate with Neighbors: Work together with your neighbors and community organizations to enhance firewise safety in your area. Consider forming a Firewise USA® recognized community, which involves collaborating with local fire departments and implementing specific wildfire mitigation measures.

 

  1. Be Firewise Year-Round: Firewise safety isn’t just a seasonal concern—it’s a year-round commitment. Stay vigilant about maintaining your property and implementing firewise practices regardless of the season. Remember that wildfires can occur at any time, and preparedness is key to minimizing their impact.

 

By implementing these firewise safety measures, individuals and communities can reduce the risk of wildfire damage and enhance overall resilience in the face of this natural threat. Taking proactive steps now can help protect lives, property, and the environment for generations to come. Stay informed, stay prepared, and stay firewise.

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