April 18, 2019 3:45 a.m.
Fire officials with the Douglas Forest Protective Association and local fire departments say spring cleaning will protect homes from wildfires.
Kyle Reed of DFPA said the agency and local fire departments are urging homeowners to take time this spring to create defensible space around their homes to help reduce the risk of property damage in the event of a wildfire. Reed said creating defensible space is a relatively simple, effective way to reduce a home’s wildfire risk, for little or no cost.
Reed said defensible space is the area around a home or other structure where fuels and vegetation have been treated, cleared or reduced to slow the spread of a wildfire. By having adequate defensible space, the risk of a wildfire spreading from the surrounding vegetation to a nearby home is greatly reduced, according to Reed.
The DFPA release said homeowners can create defensible space by pruning nearby trees, removing underbrush, mowing tall grass, and by removing all dead or dying vegetation within 200 feet of a structure. In addition, pine needles and leaves which have accumulated in gutters, on the roof, and other places around the home, should also be removed.
Reed said residents should also look at other flammable materials that are stored under their home that could be used as fuel for a wildfire. Firewood piles, gas cans, propane tanks and lumber piles should all be stored at least 30 feet away from structures during fire season. A number of other common everyday items which are found around homes and are made of plastic, rubber, wood, or other flammable materials can be potential fuel as well. Reed said they should be stored accordingly during fire season.
For more information about creating defensible space, contact DFPA or local fire departments.