WILDFIRE SEASON 2015: Creating defensible space around your prop - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

WILDFIRE SEASON 2015: Creating defensible space around your property

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Creating a defensible space around your house is important before it's too late (PHOTO: WaDNR) Creating a defensible space around your house is important before it's too late (PHOTO: WaDNR)
SPOKANE, Wash. - The low snow pack, the dry spring, the increasingly hot temperatures. It is all adding up to another potentially devastating wildfire season. 


But the Washington State Department of Natural Resources says there are precautions you can take now that may help save your home this summer if a wildfire ever approaches your property. Some of these tips include:


  • Clean up the brush: Reducing brush appears to be the most important factor for success. You want to have a zone with at least 30 feet of space immediately around your home that is free from ignition hazards presented by vegetation and combustible construction. This not only helps protect your home, but also gives firefighters a safer place to fight the fire.
  • Rake the leaves: Leaf accumulation provides fuel for wildland fires.
  • Mow the lawn: The grass around the house can tend to grow tall and unruly during the wet winter months. These grasses dry out and provide a path for the fire that can lead directly to your house.
  • Clean the gutters and the roof: Make sure you remove all dead leaves and pine needles from your gutters, roof, and from around your home. This debris left from the winter weather is highly combustible and is like a fire starter for your home.
  • Clean under the deck: Keep the surface and area beneath decks and porches free of debris and leaves.
  • Stack firewood away from the house: Many people make the mistake of keeping firewood stacked close to the house for easy access. If a spark lands in your wood pile it could ignite your house. Make sure you stack wood at least 30 feet away from structures to help protect them from wildfire.
  • Trim trees and brush back from structures: Remove all dead or overhanging branches. During the windy conditions that exist during a wildland fire, flames, sparks, and firebrands could travel from your trees to the roof of your home.
  • Limb trees up to 10 feet from the ground: Limbing your trees up will help reduce the chances that a fire on the ground will spread into tree tops – this is especially important if your property has lots of trees.
  • Dispose of cuttings and debris properly: Dispose of your yard waste properly, and make sure you don't leave it piled near the house in the back yard. That defeats the purpose of all the work you did.

For additional tips on how to reduce the risk of wildfire to your community, home or family, head to www.firewise.org 

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