Wildfire Prevention

Wildfire Prevention

Fall is here, the leaves are bare, and suddenly the woods and fields that we call our workspaces are full of tinder and fuel.

There is also still kindling on the ground that could provide just the right fuel for a wildfire after the recent years’ hurricanes and tornadoes.

Most fires are caused by carelessness. Throwing lit cigarettes on the ground and out of moving car windows are putting all of us at risk. Please do not carelessly toss lit cigarettes…use an ash tray or douse them with water

Following are some ideas to safe guard your property against wildfires:

  • Make it easy for fire trucks to get to your job office, trailer, or house.
  • Clearly label your street name and house number with metal signs and posts.
  • Make sure the driveway or entry has a 16‐foot clearance of vegetation, and create a 30‐
    foot‐wide space around your building for fire trucks to maneuver.
  • Trim lower branches up to 10 feet on tall trees, remove vines from trees, and keep shrubbery away from pine trees so that a fire on the ground cannot climb up these fuel ladders to the treetops.
  • Landscape your defensible space to make it difficult for fire to spread to your house. Use shrub islands or patches of perennials rather than continuous beds of plantings.
  • Thin trees so branches do not touch each other.
  • Keep combustible items like woodpiles, compost piles, gas grills, gas cans, and propane tanks at least 30 feet away from your house. Clear away dead vegetation, pine needles, and branches.
  • Use mowed grass, gravel walkways, and mulched plantings near your home. Although mulch helps retain soil moisture, it must be kept moist or it can become a fuel source. Do not use thick combustible mulch beside your home’s foundation.
  • Keep large, leafy, hardwood trees in your yard, particularly on the east and west sides of your house. Their shade is important to cool your house, and the flat leaves trap moisture on the ground. Large pine trees also provide good shade. Trim lower branches and rake up pine needles.
  • Remove flammable plants like cedar, within 30 feet of your home. Many other plants are not as flammable, such as dogwood, viburnum, redbud, sycamore, magnolia, oaks, red maple, wild azalea, and sweetgum.