I have posted on fire safety and prevention in the past, but, with so much of the west and northwest facing drought conditions, wildfires are once again taking their toll on wildlife, livestock and humans.
Unless you have been deep in a cave, spelunking, for the past few weeks you have seen or at least heard about the numerous fires consuming thousands of acres of grass and forest lands. Forcing as many as 40,000 from their homes and hundreds of homes being lost to fires.
What has this got to do with gardening, well…. everything. Protect one of your most valuable assets, your home from wild fires. You can do little to stop other people or nature from starting fires but you can do a lot to prevent you and your family from becoming a homeless fire victim.
Your first and best line of defense is a clean, well watered lawn and garden.
* Do not allow trash, paper, tall grass or short brush to accumulate along your property lines. Keep all leaf litter and wood, grass or hay based mulch at least 3 feet from your home and out buildings.
* Prune trees so no foliage is near the ground, if you can’t walk unobstructed under a tree, it needs pruned. Keep the lowest limbs at least 6 or 7 feet off the ground.
* Keep grasses mowed short and well watered. Damp/wet grass does not burn well. De-thatch lawns and put in a compost pile well away from your home or other out buildings. Keep your lawn at bay. Keep a 3 foot wide grass and shrub free fire break all around your home.
* As painful as it sounds, it is important to remove fire pron trees and shrubs such as pines, cedars and junipers that are within 100 feet of your home. Pine trees and Junipers are potential fires look for a time and place to flame up.
* Don’t use what is often called foundation or ornamental plants, shrubs or vines within 3 feet of your home. If there is no fuel a fire can’t get started. Plants near your home porches is fuel to set your home on fire.
* Keep over hanging tree limbs pruned and well away from the roof of your home and out buildings.
** Keep a good quality water hose and hose end sprayer where you have Fast and Easy access to fight any fire that approaches your home.
* When a fire is near your home be ready to spray/wet your home and out building roof to prevent embers from a near by fire from igniting your roof.
As a last resort if you must evacuate your home, store all your important documents like insurance documents, deeds and such in a small fire resistant container that you can carry in one hand to be taken with you in a evacuation event. Keep this container where you know it’s location and it should be kept as near your primary exit door as possible.
You can’t always depend on your local police or fire departments help in the event you are in the path of a large wild fire.
Happy and Safe 4th of July holiday.
Not from the USA. Please leave me comment about your home town and country.
Why is common sense so uncommon?
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