As we witness the wildfire devastation in Northern California, we offer these tips on how you can protect your home before a fire strikes your community.
Remove fuels that can lead flames to your home or that can become ignited from windblown embers, including:
- Dead grass, leaves, etc. (fine fuels) and dead twigs, branches, etc. (coarse fuels) within 30 feet of buildings
- Dry leaf/pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks and walkways
- Dead and dry litter at the base of plants
- Tree branches (ladder fuels) within 6-10 feet of the ground
- Firewood within 30 feet of buildings
- Continuous beds of combustible vegetation (on the ground or in tree tops) that can bring large flames within 100 feet of your home
Plant species that retain moisture and resist ignition, including:
- Native, fire-resistant vegetation (check with local forestry agency)
- Fire prone trees and shrubs away from your home and far enough apart, so they won’t ignite one another
- A lean, clean and green landscape at least 30 feet around buildings
- A legible and clearly marked street number for emergency responders
- Storage sheds containing items including lawn mowers, grills/gas cans and tanks away from the home
Install metal screening that blocks embers from entering your buildings, including:
- Noncombustible 1/8 inch on attic/crawl space vents, and around low decks
- Noncombustible (metal, etc.) skirting around mobile homes
Identify an emergency water supply within 1,000 feet of your home through one of the following:
- Community water/hydrant system
- Drafting site on a lake
- Cooperative emergency storage tank with neighbors
- Swimming pool
If under a wildfire threat; only remove dead leaves or vegetation when local garbage collection services will have time to pick up the debris. Do not burn vegetation without following local requirements.
REMEMBER severe wildfires move fast and embers can be blown more than a mile from the flames, so be ready.