We’ve seen so many homes lost to wildfires this year. This has been a terrible and ongoing tragedy which made me wonder if there is anything we can do to make a home less vulnerable to being burned. As it turns out, there are several steps we can take.
The United States Forest Service has a program they call “Firewise,” which provides homeowners with specific steps they can take to mitigate the risk from wildfire. Below is a summary from a U.S. Forest Service web site, and here is a link to some interesting information about garden mulch. It seems that some types of mulch are much more flammable than others. Check out the Arizona Cooperative Extension site. If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, you can skip down to the summary at the end.
US Forest Service Urges Communities to Prepare for Wildfires
WASHINGTON – May 27, 2011 – Nine out of ten wildfires are preventable. In other words, nine out of ten wildfires are caused by people from carelessness. But homeowners and others are not powerless against wildfires. In fact, homeowners who exercise common sense tactics, such as clearing brush and debris away from structures, play a vital role in slowing the spread of fire and protecting their property.
Right now, moisture and cool temperatures in the Western United States are holding off the Western wildfire season. At the same time, the Southwestern United States is experiencing extensive wildfire activity in forestland and on private property, most notably in Texas.