protecting their property, and now is a good time to get started. Your spring cleaning now will help firefighters access and protect your home in the event of wildfire, and may even save it if help is unable to get there in time.
There are several simple steps you can take to start protect your home and out buildings. Remove all flammable materials including firewood, dry or dead vegetation, and dead tree limbs to at least 30 feet from any building. Clean out gutters, and under decks and porches. If it can catch fire, move it away.
Keep your lawn green whenever possible. Dry or brown grass should be mowed regularly. Flying embers are just as dangerous as direct flames since they will travel long distances on the strong winds that often accompany wildfire. If you can, completely enclose or use fine mesh metal screening on soffits, decks, porches, and eaves. This will add extra protection to these areas that trap flying embers.
If you are planning to build or remodel, consider using fire resistant materials. A metal roof is better than composition or shakes in resisting wildfire. Materials such as stucco, masonry, and the newer cement exterior siding and trim material will resist fire better than wood or vinyl.
Now is the time for a good spring cleaning and these are just a few things you can start in preparing your home and property in the event of wildfire. Keep in mind that creating a survivable space for your home will require continual maintenance and your thoughtful attention throughout the fire season.
More information is available at www.firewise.org.
MethowReady is a resource created locally to help you prepare for a wide range of emergencies and disasters including wildfire. Check out their website at www.methowready.org.