In many parts of the Western United States, May is considered Wildfire Awareness month. Chief executives in 11 states are working on programs, public service announcements, and other opportunities to encourage “all citizens to take steps to better prepare their home and communities for wildfires and word toward becoming a fire-adapted community.” Just as recent as the 2018 wildfire season, residents of Oregon were responsible for starting 1,330 wildfires which devastated over 329,000 acres of land across the state. Wildfires are a very serious problem which can be significantly decreased by simply doing your part. Here are a few tips Presco wants you to be aware of, to assist in the effort to prevent wildfires.
- Clear out dead foliage and debris from your yard, roof-lines, gutters, decks, porches, patios, and fence lines. Don’t give falling embers any fuel to start a fire.
- Store furniture cushions, rattan furniture and mats, potted plants and other decorations from decks, porches, and patios. These articled can catch embers and help ignite your home if you leave them outside.
- When embers get airborne, they can quickly get into your home through vents and other openings and burn your home from the inside out. Do a sweep of your home to see what openings you can screen or seal temporarily.
- It’s important to trim back shrubs or tree branches that come closer than 5 feet to the house and attachments, and any overhanging branches.
- Walk around your home and remove anything within 30 feet of your house that could potentially burn, such as woodpiles, spare lumber, vehicles and boats-anything that can act as a significant fuel source.
- Know when to GO! If you are ordered to evacuate, make sure all windows and doors are closed tightly, and seal up any pet doors. Many homes are destroyed by embers entering these openings and burning the house from the inside out.
Understanding wildfire prevention is crucial if we want to save our homes, our lives and our environments. If you are interested in finding out more about protecting your home from potential threats, visit https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/wildfire.html