While some states were spared the hard rains that Sandy brought with her, most experienced high winds that left behind downed tree limbs, leaves and debris that have nestled in gutters and scattered across lawns. For many fire officials up and down the East Coast, this yard waste, coupled with dry weather conditions and the continued residual winds they say, create a high risk for wildfire.
In many states, including Georgia, officials are looking to the public to play its role in preventing as many fires as possible. This includes obeying any “no outdoor burning” rules and cleaning up yard debris when it is safe to do so.
The Firewise Communities Program has a number of resources, including a homeowners’ checklist of safety tips you can engage in right now to help in your cleanup efforts and reduce your home’s potential risk to wildfire damage. You can find the checklist on the Firewise website.
As always, the Firewise staff emphasizes extreme caution when surveying your property, especially in the aftermath of this storm. Report any hidden downed or sagging wires to your local power company so they can take immediate action, and take note of your area’s trash collection schedule to prepare for and properly get rid of yard waste in a timely manner.
Need more information? Check out the Firewise website for additional wildfire safety tips and share them with your friends. You can also learn how your community can work together to reduce wildfire risk by visiting the Fire Adapted Communities website, which offers a number of great resources to get you started.
During the following days and weeks to come we will all work to restore as much normalcy to our lives as possible. It is never more important than now to partner with your neighbors and local agencies to help ensure everyone's safety. As you continue to work on your wildfire mitigation activities, share your stories with our Firewise community, and let us know how we can help.