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Charlie Plassmann a Sierra West community leader from Driftwood just south of Austin, Texas sent this article from the local Wimberley View newspaper.  The Sierra West Subdivision has been a recognized Firewise Community/USA® site since 2011 and we at the National Fire Protection Association are excited by their continued commitment to the Firewise program, especially when one considers that Texas was one of the hardest hit during last year’s fire season where 2,900 homes were burned and more than 4 million acres burned.  According to national wildland fire experts this year is going to be a very busy and challenging fire season.  

Sierra West

This winter’s unseasonably mild and dry weather pattern is causing an alarmingly increased risk for wildfire prompting a national warning for residents to take action to prevent damage from wildfire. States such as ColoradoTennessee and New York are already seeing the reality of these dangerous conditions.

Firewise“The unusually dry and windy weather at this time of year means that wildfires pose a greater threat to individual properties and neighborhoods across the U.S.,” said Michele Steinberg, NFPA’s Firewise Communities Program Manager. “It’s simply easier, in these conditions, for fires to start and burn out of control. But residents can do their part and take simple steps today to lessen the risk of damage if a wildfire occurs.”

While these states continue to recover from the devastating effects of recent wildfires, now is the time for residents across the country to prepare themselves and protect their homes from brush, grass and forest fire damage. Contrary to common perception, a wildfire does not have to burn everything in its path. In fact, clearing property of debris and maintaining landscaping are important, yet simple, first steps for homeowners. 

Below are additional actions residents can take to reduce the risk of home and property becoming fuel for a wildfire – actions that have saved communities, such as those in South Gulf Cove in Florida.

  • Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
  • Keep lawns hydrated and maintained. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  • Remove flammable materials within 3-5 feet of the home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch the house, deck or porch.

Read the full list of tips and actions you can take here

Learn more about how to keep families safe and reduce homeowners’ risk for wildfire damage at www.Firewise.org. Additionally, complimentary brochures, booklets, pamphlets, videos and much more can be found on the information and resources page of the website and ordered online through the Firewise catalog

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