In my role as a wildfire mitigation specialist and Public Information Officer for the Florida Forest Service, I was assigned to the recent "Bermont Road 2" fire in Punta Gorda in southwest Florida's Charlotte County. Fires have been increasingly frequent and intense this season in this area of the Sunshine State. While two mobile homes were destroyed during this particular incident, I was able to document a home that survived fire burning right up to the foundation, with no intervention by fire fighters. This home was a prime example of Firewise principles in action.
The property had very good defensible space with only short grasses near the main home and outbuildings. But since the wind-driven fire was spotting embers into the grass, it was the home's Firewise features - a solid block foundation, screened areas behind latticework, heavy timber construction and a metal roof - that kept it from suffering the fate of the homes that burned. Small flames and sparks meant the demise of the two mobile homes, but didn't have an entry point in the Firewise home.
I'm grateful to Wink News, our local CBS affiliate, for the great coverage of the fire itself and the story of the Firewise home I observed. Click on the image below to go to the story and watch the video.