Summer marks the beginning of peak wildfire season. Vegetation dries out under the hot sun and, without much rain, becomes more susceptible to fire. And, as we all know, the early fall months of October and November often bring winds that can spread a small spark.
So, what can you do now to help protect your home and property in case of wildfire?
Create Defensible Space
“Defensible Space” is the buffer between your home and the surrounding area. We recommend creating defensible space, that means to clear dead branches and weeds from around your yard, make sure firewood is moved far away from the house and if fire makes it to your yard, you want to do everything you can to make sure it doesn’t have any fuel to get to your home.
The most important space to keep clear on your property is within 30 feet around your home (also known as Zone 1). Keeping this zone free by removing dead plants and creating space between trees and shrubs creates a buffer for your property and reduces potential fuel for fire.
Help Your Home Ward off Fire
Another way to protect your home is to make sure it can help protect itself if fire gets near. Keeping the area closest to buildings, structures, and decks clear will prevent embers from igniting materials that can spread the fire to your home. That means using hardscape like gravel, pavers, or concrete. No combustible bark or mulch. Also, to consider choosing more fire-resistant windows (like tempered double-paned windows), installing screens around your chimney to ward off embers, and adding weather stripping around doors and windows.
Plan Your Preparations Wisely
Before 10 a.m., the temperatures are cooler, and the sun isn’t right overhead. This is crucial to consider when using outside power tools like lawn mowers and weed eaters. Their metal blades can throw sparks and start a grass fire.
Want to Learn More?
For more resources and information on helping prepare your home for wildfire, visit BeReadyButte.com. Need help creating defensible space on your property? Check out the Butte Fire Safe Council’s Chipper Program!
Remember: Fire comes when you least expect it. The best time to prepare is now!