Tips to protect your home during Wildfire Season!
The objective is to reduce the wildfire threat to your home by changing the characteristics of the flammable vegetation.
Lean – Prune shrubs and cut back tree branches, especially within 20 feet of your home.
Clean – Remove ALL dead plant material from around your home; this includes dead leaves, dry vegetation and even stacked firewood. In addition, CLEAN your roof and gutters of leaves and broken limbs.
Green – Plant fire-resistant vegetation that is healthy and green throughout the year.
Think of the area around your home in Zones.
Zone 1 is closest to the structure, Zone 4 is the farthest away.
Zone 1 – This well-irrigated area encircles the structure for at least 30 feet on all sides, providing space for fire suppression equipment in the event of an emergency. Plants should be limited to carefully spaced fire resistant tree and shrub species. Grass should be kept very short (1-2 inches) to prevent any wildfire from getting too close to your home!
Zone 2 – Fire resistant plants/vegetation should be used here, and the irrigation system should extend into this section.
Zone 3 – Place low-growing plants and well spaced trees in this area, remembering to keep the volume of vegetation (fuel) low.
Zone 4 – This furthest zone from the structure is a natural area. Thin selectively here and remove highly flammable vegetation. Plants/vegetation should be low-growing.
The above information was gathered from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Oklahoma Wildfire Prevention Coalition
Additional TIPS for creating a “GREEN ZONE” around your home
- Have a garden hose (at least 100 feet in length) near a faucet outside your home. DO NOT attach the hose to the faucet as it will freeze and could bust pipes inside/underneath your home.
- If you have a “Burn Barrell” that you use for burning trash, STOP using it as the grass is drying out and the humidity is lower, allowing for a greater chance to start a wildfire!
Moderate Cost Actions: $50 – $250
- Treat flammable materials like wood roofs, decks and siding with fire retardant chemicals (Must be applied each year).
- Enclose decks to prevent accumulation of leaves and debris.
- Use a metal screen with a 1/8″ mesh opening to prevent sparks from getting under the deck.
High Cost Actions: More than $500
- Replace your roof with fire-resistant materials such as Class A shingles. Insurance companies also may give a discount with your homeowner’s policy.
- Replace wood or vinyl siding with non-flammable material.
- Place non-flammable ground cover such as gravel around propane tanks at least 10 feet in diameter.