Over 90% of wildfire home losses are attributed to small spot-fires or flying embers. Providing defensible space and reducing home ignition hazards create the best defense against wildfire. Here are some good rules of thumb for making your property more wildfire resistant:
Choose a fire resistant roof (Class A or B is recommended).
Remove combustible debris from the roof, decks and porches.
Clean out rain gutters and consider replacing vinyl gutters with non-combustible gutters.
Install screens on vents made of corrosion-resistant wire mesh with a maximum 1/8" grid. This prevents embers from entering the attic and underfloor areas.
Choose non-combustible siding. If not possible, caulk or fill any voids in combustible siding where embers could collect.
Clean out combustible debris from under decks. Consider installing solid skirting around the bottom of decks.
Trim trees to provide a minimum 10’ horizontal clearance from chimneys and other parts of the house.
0-5 feet around the perimeter of the home
Shrubs/trees are not recommended within 5 feet of the home.
If you have landscaping within 5 feet of the home, remove flammable vegetation and combustible items.
Relocate plastic garbage and recycle bins away from the house.
5-30 feet around the perimeter of the home
Maintain green, watered landscaping.
Replace flammable vegetation with fire resistant vegetation.
Keep weeds and grasses cut to a maximum of 2” high.
Space your plantings. Keep trees and shrubs separated..
Eliminate ladder fuels below trees. Vegetation can spread fire into tree crowns.
Trees should have a 15’ minimum horizontal spacing between crowns. Increase that spacing for trees growing on a slope.
Prune lower limbs and branches to a minimum height of 15’, or 1/3 the tree height for shorter trees.
Relocate propane tanks at least 30’ away from the home. Create a defensible space around the tank (at least 10’ clearance to combustible materials.)
Locate smaller firewood piles a minimum of 30’ from your home.
30-100 feet and beyond the perimeter of the home
Thin out small trees.
Remove dead or fallen trees.
Eliminate ladder fuels below trees.
Locate large firewood piles a minimum of 100’ from your home. When possible, place piles uphill from structures.
If you live on a slope or hill, you may need to double or even triple this safety zone.
More information about building a Wildfire Resistant Home HERE. Take the Wildfire Preparedness 30-Day ChallengeHERE.