As we head into a hot, dry summer, take steps this month to protect your home, family and property from wildfire.
Create a defensible space around your home:
Two zones make up the required 100 feet of defensible space.
Zone 1 extends 30 feet out from buildings, structures, decks, etc.
- Remove all dead plants, grass and weeds (vegetation).
- Remove dead or dry leaves and pine needles from your yard, roof and rain gutters.
- Trim trees regularly to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.
- Remove branches that hang over your roof and keep dead branches 10 feet away from your chimney.
- Relocate wood piles into Zone 2.
- Remove or prune flammable plants and shrubs near windows.
- Remove vegetation and items that could catch fire from around and under decks.
- Create a separation between trees, shrubs and items that could catch fire, such as patio furniture, swing sets, etc.
Zone 2 extends the prepared space out an additional 70 feet.
- Cut or mow annual grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches.
- Create horizontal spacing between shrubs and trees. (minimum 10 feet)
- Create vertical spacing between grass, shrubs and trees. (minimum 6 feet to lowest branches)
- Remove fallen leaves, needles, twigs, bark, cones, and small branches. However, they may be permitted as a mulch to a depth of 3 inches.
Prepare your home exterior:
- Cover openings (such as attic vents and chimneys) with metal screens to prevent embers from entering
- Clear gutters of debris
- Make sure your driveway is clear of any obstacles which would prevent access by emergency vehicles and that your house number can be clearly seen from the road.
- When repairing or remodeling your home’s exterior, use fire-resistant materials
If you need to evacuate:
- Remove flammable curtains, blinds and shutters from windows.
- Move flammable furnishings into the center of the room, away from windows
- Turn off gas and central air
- Turn on outside lights so house can be seen from road
- Gather and store flammable items from around the yard
- Check on neighbors
- Turn off sprinklers so as to not diminish water pressure
- Take your 72-hour kits with you
- Refer to the August, September and October 2013 newsletters for more instructions on preparing for evacuation
For more information, visit: http://www.readyforwildfire.org/