Brush and wildfires are a fairly common occurrence and even a natural part of some ecosystems in the United States. However, they can also be dangerous and bothersome if you get caught in the crossfire. Aside from rooting on your local firemen and moving out of the area if things get too dangerous there are still a number of things you can do to try prepare your home and land, prevent wildfires from starting, and stay safe in the event of an approaching wildfire.
Wildfire preparation in its most basic form comes down to minimizing flammable materials in proximity to your home. This comes down to some simple and basic yard and home maintenance. Rake the leaves in your yard, remove brush and undergrowth, clear out your gutters, and prune trees and shrubs especially near your home. Make sure trees in your yard don’t have any branches less than 15 feet off the ground and regularly mow your grass. If you keep your yard orderly it’s much less likely to burst into flames from a stray spark and it won’t accelerate an already approaching wildfire.
In addition to yard maintenance there are a number of additional precautions that you can take for your home if you live in a danger area that regularly has uncontrolled fires. If possible, use noncombustible or fire resistant materials for your roofing as well as your home’s side paneling and exterior decks. Check out the Underwriters Laboratory for a number of approved materials with a strong resistance to fire. Another possible consideration is installing fire shutters. Typically the kind of protection you want is going to depend on the local environment and what kind of fires could be expected. It’d be a good idea to consult a professional in your area for advice on making your home more fire resistant.
While there are a lot of ways that you prepare your home and yard there are also a lot of ways to prevent wildfires in the first place. It really comes down to being responsible in the outdoors and making sure that you properly extinguish and never leave any flames unattended. Be sure to report any hazardous conditions and contact your local fire department in the event of an uncontrolled burn. It’s very important to keep track of the current conditions and respect the danger and possibility of starting a fire when conditions are dangerous. Never discard cigarettes, matches, or any burning material without properly ensuring that it is extinguished.