[ Preparation ]
Firefighters Count on You
If you own a home in a fire-prone area, you should take a few simple steps to make your property more defensible. It will increase your safety, firefighter safety, and the chance that your home will survive a fire.
Lean, Clean, and Green Zone
Clearing an area of 30 feet immediately surrounding your home is critical. This area requires the greatest reduction in flammable vegetation.
Reduced Fuel Zone
The fuel reduction zone will depend on the steepness of your property and the vegetation. Spacing between plants improves the chance of stopping a wildfire before it destroys your home. Create horizontal and vertical spacing between plants. The amount of space will depend on how steep the slope is and the size of the plants. Large trees do not have to be cut and removed as long as all of the plants beneath them are removed. This eliminates a vertical "fire ladder." When clearing vegetation, use care when operating equipment such as lawnmowers. One small spark may start a fire; a string trimmer is much safer. Remove all build-up of needles and leaves from your roof and gutters. Keep tree limbs trimmed at least 10 feet from any chimneys and remove dead limbs that hang over your home or garage. You should also consider a screen over your chimney outlet of not more than ½ inch mesh.
Prepare a Fire Safety Plan ahead of time
Make and practice a home fire escape plan and set a meeting place outside. Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two escape routes from their bedrooms. Assign a family member for caring of pets.