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Wildfires Won’t Stop. Here’s How to Protect Homes Against Them

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wildfires-disaster relief-homeowners

Disaster relief and mitigation experts offer simple, proactive steps individuals and communities can take to help protect homes and property from wildfires.

Over the past decade, an average of 7.4 million acres of land in the United States has been impacted by wildfires each year. By early May of this year, more than 1.1 million acres had already burned. Disaster relief organizations and wildfire mitigation experts have discovered that taking some simple, proactive steps can help protect communities in wildfires’ paths.

The first step is to clear brush and other vegetation from the area immediately around the home. The area within five feet from any house should be the no-fuel, no-flame zone.

“If you have five feet of fire-safe material, think rock, for example, surrounding your home, your home is much more protected against fire than it would be by a prescribed burn of a nearby forest,” explains Team Rubicon mitigation project manager Duane Poslusny.

The area between five and 30 feet from the home should be “lean and green.” It should consist of living vegetation only. Removing items that can catch fire easily, such as pine needles and dead or dying trees, within 30 feet of a home reduces the risk that, should an ember land on the property, it will ignite a path to the front door.

Beyond the 30-foot perimeter, mitigation experts also encourage delimbing trees up to the 12-foot mark. That way, any tree that does catch fire is less likely to generate enough heat to get into the canopy of the forest.

For homeowners and communities, mitigating wildfires is all about strategic fuel reduction. While wildfires can’t be stopped, reducing fuel around homes and buildings can often help protect them.

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