This winter’s unseasonably mild and dry weather pattern is causing an alarmingly increased risk for wildfire prompting a national warning for residents to take action to prevent damage from wildfire. States such as Colorado, Tennessee and New York are already seeing the reality of these dangerous conditions.
“The unusually dry and windy weather at this time of year means that wildfires pose a greater threat to individual properties and neighborhoods across the U.S.,” said Michele Steinberg, NFPA’s Firewise Communities Program Manager. “It’s simply easier, in these conditions, for fires to start and burn out of control. But residents can do their part and take simple steps today to lessen the risk of damage if a wildfire occurs.”
While these states continue to recover from the devastating effects of recent wildfires, now is the time for residents across the country to prepare themselves and protect their homes from brush, grass and forest fire damage. Contrary to common perception, a wildfire does not have to burn everything in its path. In fact, clearing property of debris and maintaining landscaping are important, yet simple, first steps for homeowners.
Below are additional actions residents can take to reduce the risk of home and property becoming fuel for a wildfire – actions that have saved communities, such as those in South Gulf Cove in Florida.
- Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
- Keep lawns hydrated and maintained. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
- Remove flammable materials within 3-5 feet of the home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch the house, deck or porch.
Learn more about how to keep families safe and reduce homeowners’ risk for wildfire damage at www.Firewise.org. Additionally, complimentary brochures, booklets, pamphlets, videos and much more can be found on the information and resources page of the website and ordered online through the Firewise catalog.