Are You Prepared for Wildfire Season?
Every year, wildfires burn across the country and Sonoma County is certainly no stranger to the devastation. As we endure another drought year, the possibility of wildfire in our area remains high. It’s a frightening reality for all of us.
But by working together, Sonoma County residents have made considerable progress to assure that their own property - and their neighborhood – is much safer from wildfire. As a community, we have all been working hard to secure each other’s safety in the event of fire.
And although we have all made great efforts to secure out homes from fire, it’s a good idea to review a few tips from the National Fire Prevention Association. Take a peek at the suggestions and see if there are a few things that you might do to increase the safety of your home during wildfire season and to be prepared in the event of an evacuation.
FIRE PREVENTION TIPS AROUND YOUR HOME
For residents in natural settings, cutting back weeds and removing debris is an essential step in fire prevention. Fallen branches or other flammable materials should be removed to help prevent the acceleration of fire. This step creates a defensible space for your home.
Be sure to regularly remove leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks to lessen the possibility of embers igniting your home.
To prevent debris and other combustible materials from accumulating under decks or patios, consider screening or boxing-in areas below patios and decks.
Remove flammable materials (especially firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. A good rule of thumb is this: If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
Wildfire can easily spread to treetops. It’s a good idea to prune trees so the lowest branches are within 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
A well hydrated lawn can reduce fire intensity. Although we are experiencing drought conditions, consider ways to water your lawn efficiently (during the night with timed irrigation, for example) to reduce the likelihood of combustion.
Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
A regular roof inspection to replace or repair loose or missing tiles is a great step to prevent ember penetration.
Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
Taking a few simple steps now can really make a difference! Learn more about how to protect your home and property at www.firewise.org.