A wildfire can occur anywhere-in fact, in 2014, wildfire occurrences were recorded in all 50 states. What is a wildfire? It is an unplanned, unwanted fire burning in a natural area, such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. A wildfire can destroy homes, businesses, agriculture, and damage natural resources while threatening the safety of the public and the firefighters who protect our forests and communities. Wildfires can occur at any time throughout the year, but the potential is always higher during periods with little or no rainfall, which make brush, grass, and trees dry and burn more easily. High winds can also contribute to spreading the fire.
If you live or work in an area prone to wildfires, consider the following safety tips to help prevent the spread of wildfire.
Wildfire Safety Tips
- Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. Remove dead vegetation from under your deck and within 10 feet of the house. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
- Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches. Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris from accumulating.
- Ensure flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks, dry vegetation) are more than 30 feet from your home or business's foundation and outbuildings.
- Wildfire can spread to tree tops. If you have trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
- 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.