U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Hollister Field Office|
Protect Your Home and Property from Wildfire!
Every year many families lose their homes and possessions to the ravages of wildfire. These losses can be minimized if homeowners take the time and trouble to become aware of safety measures to help protect their homes.
Here are a few tips to help keep you and your family ready in the event of fire. These tips are not all inclusive - for more information, contact your local fire department, USDA Forest Service Office, USDI Bureau of Land Management Office, or State Fire Agency**. You can also visit the National Interagency Fire Center wildfire prevention and education center website for a comprehensive overview of fire safety in the urban interface.
Clean Your Roof: Clean roof surfaces and gutters regularly to avoid accumulation of leaves, twigs, pine needles, and other flammable materials.
Keep Your Chimney Clean: At least twice per year, inspect your chimney or have it inspected for an accumulation of soot or creosote. Clean your chimney at least once a year, or more often if necessary. Keep the dampers in good working order.
Control Vegetation:A fuel break at least 30 feet wide should be established and maintained around all structures. Wider fuel breaks are needed around buildings located on steep slopes or in areas of dense, highly flammable fuels.
Develop a Water Supply: An adequate and reliable water supply is essential to protect structures and natural areas from fires. Water can be supplied in rural areas by wells with high volume pumps. A plan should be developed to locate and note nearby creeks, rivers, lakes and ponds so that firefighters can obtain additional water if needed. One hundred feet of hose should be racked and connected to the outlet to be available to protect all sides of the house and roof.
Plan Adequate Access and Escape: Each home should have at least two different entrance and exit routes. All roads leading to your property should be at least 16 feet wide to allow for easy entrance of fire trucks and the passage of vehicles evacuating the area. Plan a safe retreat route for your and your family before forest fire occurs, and make sure everyone knows the plan. Emergency phone numbers should be posted.
Have Fire Tools Handy: Your home should have a cache of fire tools, including the following: a ladder long enough to reach the roof in case of a roof fire; 100 feet of pre connected garden hose; a shovel, a rake and a bucket. These tools should be kept in an easily accessible place and all occupants of the house should know where they are.
** These tips are provided courtesy of the brochure entitled: "It Could Happen To You! How to Protect Your Home", co-sponsored and produced by USDA Forest Service Fire and Aviation, the USDI Bureau of Land Management Fire and Aviation, and State Forestry Departments.
Rick Cooper, Field Manager