More and more people are making their homes in woodland settings, rural areas or remote mountain sites. While residents in these areas enjoy the beauty of the environment around them, they also face the very real danger of wildfires.
Droughts and dry conditions throughout various times of the year increase the risk for wildfires. Careless use of fire in highly wooded areas can also dramatically increase the chance of a wildfire, which can then quickly spread across trees and dry brush and threaten homes and businesses that are in vicinity.
Wildfires often begin unnoticed. However, they spread quickly and every second counts! Talk with members of your household about wildfires—how to prevent them and what to do if one occurs.
Some homes survive wildfires and some do not. Those that do survive almost always do so because their owners had prepared ahead of time, and these are some of the steps you can take:
- Design and landscape your home with wildfire safety in mind.
- Use fire-resistant materials on the roof and exterior; combustible materials can be treated with fire-retardant chemicals.
- Create a 30 to 100 foot safety zone around your home by clearing excess vegetation and rubbish.
- Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees; hardwood trees are less flammable than pine, evergreen or fir trees.
- Visit www.firewise.org to learn more about preparing and protecting your home from wildfire.