Residents of the western United States have been warned to prepare themselves and their homes for another punitive season for wildfires.
A widespread drought has dried up the vegetation and land in several countries, which is beginning to increase the region for greater veldfire activity, which usually begins in the summer months and can continue into the fall.
“If your home is near a wildfire area, you should be concerned,” said Lynnette Round, a public information officer for Cal Fire, the California fire-fighting agency, where 9,248 structures were destroyed by wildfires in 2020. ‘moment, so that residents must now be prepared ahead of time. ”
Me. Round says Cal Cal recommends that people start preparing their homes as early as March.
Here’s a guide to making your home more resistant to wildfires.
Create a ‘defensible space’
By creating a defensible space, or ‘with’ making fire ‘, residents can carve a barrier between their home and flammable vegetation. A defensible space around the perimeter of the house should be well irrigated and free of brush, vegetation and other materials that can ignite a fire. Adding fuel breaks, such as gravel roads or driveways, can also help.
If you have the space, Cal Fire recommend creating a buffer of at least a few hundred feet with fire-retardant plants and non-combustible materials, such as concrete or gravel. Homeowners should also move branches, firewood and garbage to other areas in the home.
“The defensible space has a big difference,” said Brian Centoni, the public information officer for the fire department in Alameda County, California.
And in California, residents is needed to have a “defensible space” in certain high-risk areas.
No matter how safe you think your home may be, you should leave if the authorities order you to evacuate.
Make water resources accessible
Hardening of the house, a term used to describe the process of changing a home to make it more fire resistant, can also help protect firefighters. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends inserting a garden hose into a water supply so firefighters can access it. You need to identify and maintain water sources such as fire hydrants, dams and pools and make them accessible. You can also ensure that your driveway is open to emergency vehicles and ensure that your address plates are clearly visible from the road.
Add refractory plants to your garden
The next best thing to “fire” is to fill your garden with fire-resistant plants, such as French lavender or sage. These plants are also drought friendly.
Recommend Cal Fire to cure your garden to be a fire-resistant zone, but warn that just because plants like currants and aloes are less on fire, it does not mean they are refractory.
Clean your roof and gutters
Recommend FEMA regularly clean your roof and gutters of dry leaves and other debris. To prevent light bulbs from flying in, locking up or packing into roof edges, fireplaces, decks and other openings in the house’s structure; fine mesh can be used to cover vents, crawl spaces and the area under porches and decks.
Remove flammable household items
If you are unable to change your home or landscaping changes, Carrie Bilbao, a spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center, recommends making a quick assessment of your property and making small but critical changes, such as flammable objects. remove – pillows and brooms stored outside.
“One thing people do need to remember is that this is not just an individual effort, but a community effort,” she said. Bilbao said. “You can do everything you can for your own home, but if your nearest neighbor does not, the potential for fire to affect you is greater.”