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Wildfires

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Recovering from Disaster
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Wildfire
If you live on a remote hillside, in a valley, prairie or forest where flammable vegetation is abundant, your residence is vulnerable to wildfires. These fires are usually triggered by lightning or accidents. Wildfires spread quickly, igniting brush, trees and homes.

Take Protective Measures
What can I do Before a Wildfire?

Mark the entrance to your property with address signs that are clearly visible from the road

Keep lawns trimmed and leaves raked

Keep the roof and rain gutters free from debris

Stack firewood at least 30 feet away from your residence

Store flammable materials, liquids and solvents in metal containers outside your residence at least 30 feet away from structures and wooden fences

Landscape your property with fire resistant plants and vegetation to prevent fire from spreading quickly

Make sure water sources are accessible to the fire department.

Cover all exterior vents, attics and eaves with metal mesh screens no larger than 6 millimeters or 1/4 inch to prevent debris from collecting and to help keep sparks out

Install multi-pane windows, tempered safety glass or fireproof shutters to protect large windows from radiant heat

Use fire-resistant draperies for added window protection

Have chimneys, wood stoves and all home heating systems inspected and cleaned annually by a certified specialist

Insulate chimneys and place spark arresters on top

The chimney should be at least 3 feet above the roof

Remove branches hanging above and around the chimney

Follow Local Burning Laws
Before burning debris in a wooded area, make sure you notify local authorities and permission to build the fire

Use an approved incinerator with a safety lid or covering with holes no larger than 3/4 inch

Create at least a 10-foot clearing around the incinerator before burning debris

Have a fire extinguisher or garden hose on hand when burning debris


What do I do During a Wildfire?

Shut off gas at the meter. Only a qualified professional can safely turn the gas back on

Seal attic and ground vents with pre-cut plywood or commercial seals

Turn off propane tanks

Place combustible patio furniture inside

Use lawn sprinklers on the roof and near above-ground fuel tanks

Wet or remove shrubs within 15 feet of your residence

Gather fire tools such as a rake, axe, handsaw or chainsaw, bucket and shovel.

Have a vehicle ready for evacuation if necessary

Back the car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape

Shut the doors and roll up windows

Leave the key in the ignition and car doors unlocked

Close garage windows and doors, leaving them unlocked

Disconnect automatic garage door openers

Open fireplace damper. Close fireplace screens

Close windows, vents, doors, blinds or noncombustible window coverings and heavy drapes

Move flammable furniture into the center of the residence away from windows and sliding-glass doors

Close all interior doors and windows to prevent drafts

Place valuables that will not be damaged by water in a pool
If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Choose a route away from the fire hazard. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of the fire and smoke.

What do I do After a Wildfire?

Follow the instructions for recovering from a disaster