How can you protect your house for wildfire safety?
As the first wild fire of the season burns in Golden, there are some tips home owners might consider to lessen the chance for losing their homes. 1) Design and landscape your home with wildfire safety in mind. 2) Select materials and plants that can help contain fire rather than fuel it. 3) Use fire resistant or non-combustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling. Or treat wood or combustible material used in roofs, siding, decking, or trim with UL-approved fire-retardant chemicals. 4) Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees. For example, hardwood trees are less flammable than pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees. How do wildfires spread? In combination, weather, topography and fuel supply determine how destructive a wildfire will be. A fire burns in a patchwork of intensity and as it spreads, it can even create its own weather patterns. Spreading into the crown of the tree, the fire nourishes itself with oxygen drawn from below (like a chimney). Hurled by the convective drafts, floating embers can ignite dry fuel far from the fire. How can you prevent wildfires? 1) Don’t park your vehicle on dry grass. 2) If off-road vehicle use is allowed, internal combustion equipment requires a spark arrester. 3) Know your county’s outdoor burning regulations. Unlawful trash burning is a punishable offense. 4) At the first sign of a wildfire, leave area immediately by established trails or roads. Contact a Ranger as soon as possible. If escape route is blocked, go to the nearest lake or stream. 5) Never take burning sticks out of a fire. 6) Never use stoves, lanterns and heaters inside a tent. 7) Store flammable liquid containers in a safe place.