Terms to Know

  • Crawling Fire: Fire that spreads via low-level vegetation, e.g., bushes.
  • Crown Fire: Fire that “crowns” (spreads to the top branches of trees) can spread at an incredible pace through the top of a forest.
  • Jumping Fire: Burning branches and leaves carried by wind some-times start distant fires; fires can “jump” over roads and rivers.

Be Prepared

  • Inspect your home’s exterior at least once a year before summer. Clean chimneys and stove pipes.  Check screens for clogging.
  • Keep storage areas tidy—never allow rags or newspapers to accumulate.  Store flammable liquids in approved containers.
  • Remove all dry grass, brush, and dead leaves at least 30 feet from your home.  Space trees and shrubs at least 10 feet apart.  Reduce the number of trees in heavily wooded areas.
  • Remove tree branches within 10 feet of your chimney.  Cover chimney outlets with nonflammable screens of 1/2 inch or smaller mesh.
  • Locate liquid propane gas tanks at least 30 feet from any structure and surround them with 10 feet of clearance on all sides.
  • Stack firewood and scrap wood piles from any building and clear away flammable vegetation close to the piles.
  • Prune the lower branches of tall trees to within six feet of the ground to keep ground fires from spreading into tree tops.
  • Clear pine needles, leaves, or other debris from your roof and gutters.  Remove tree limbs or dead branches hanging over your roof. Remove nearby heavy ground vegetation and stumps.

Home Construction Tips

  • Build your home on the most level portion of the lot.
  • Roofs and exteriors should be constructed with fire-resistant materials.  Avoid cedar shakes and shingles—or treat them with fire retardant.
  • Screen all eaves, attic, and floor openings.
  • Avoid accumulation of flammable material.  Remove site-preparation debris.