A Wildfire-Minded Spring Cleaning Checklist
Every year, wildfires burn across the U.S., and more and more people are living where wildfires are a real risk. But by working together, residents can make their own property, and their neighborhood, much safer from wildfire. Consider these action steps for around your home:
• CLEAR leaves and other vegetative debris from roofs, gutters, porches and decks. This helps prevent embers from igniting your home.
• REMOVE all combustible materials from under your deck or porch, and within 5 feet of the house. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
• SCREEN in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
• REMOVE flammable materials (wood piles, propane tanks, dead plants, and pine needles) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds.
• PRUNE trees so the lowest branches are 10 feet from the ground. Remember, wildfire can spread to tree tops.
• KEEP your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
• DISPOSE of debris and lawn cuttings quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
• INSPECT shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair the shingles that are loose or missing 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.
• ENCLOSE eaves and screen soffit vents using 1/8 mesh metal screening to prevent ember entry.
The more actions a community takes, the more fire adapted it becomes. To learn more about what you can do around your home visit www.LivingWithFire.info/tahoe.
This article is reproduced courtesy of the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown. "Chief’s Corner” is a regular feature offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.