Wildfire doesn’t have to burn everything in its path.
In fact, cleaning your property of debris and maintaining your landscaping are important first steps to helping minimize damage and loss. The work you do today CAN make a difference. Follow these simple action steps now and throughout the year to prepare and help reduce the risk of your home and property becoming fuel for a wildfire:
- Clear needles, leaves and other debris from the roof, gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
- To prevent ember penetration, replace or repair loose or missing roof shingles or tiles, and caulk any gaps or openings on roof edges.
- Cover exterior attic vents, and enclose under-eave and soffit vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent embers from entering the home.
- Remove stored items and clear out any dead vegetation from under your deck or porch and within 10 feet of the house.
- Replace mulch with hardscaping, including rock, gravel or stone. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
- Remove flammable materials including firewood stacks, portable propane tanks, and dry vegetation within 30 feet your home’s foundation, garages and other buildings.
- Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire so keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, trim it to reduce fire intensity, and don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
- Fire can spread to tree tops. If you have tall trees on your property, prune low hanging branches 6 to 10 feet from the ground and for smaller trees, prune low hanging branches no more than a third of the tree’s height. Remove tall grasses, vines and shrubs from under trees.
Talk to your neighbors and create a plan for how to address your wildfire safety challenges together.
Learn more about how to keep your family safe and reduce your home’s risk for wildfire damage at http://firewise.org.