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As Fires Burn In The West: Important Reminder to Prepare for Wildfires

Wildfire
Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images

 

Taking a few simple steps now will not only protects you and your family, but also helps reduce risk to firefighters and other first responders.

Protect your Property:

Create defensible space around your property:

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks – and don’t use these areas for storage of flammable items. This helps prevent embers from igniting these materials.
  • Keep lawns hydrated and maintained. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  • Remove flammable materials within five feet of the home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch the house, deck or wood fencing.
  • Reduce vegetation surrounding the home’s perimeter from a 5 foot to 30 foot area and manage vegetation there to 200 feet or the property line, depending on the area’s wildfire risk.
  • The National Fire Protection Association’s “basics of defensible space and the home ignition zone” page on the Firewise site provides these and other steps to help homeowners prepare their properties to resist wildfire.

Prepare Yourself and Your Family:

  • Build an Emergency Kit and make a Family Communications Plan.  Visit www.ready.gov for preparedness checklists.
  • During a wildfire, listen to local evacuation orders.  Do not wait to see what will happen! Due to many variables, including winds, wildfires can change course and speed quickly.

 

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