As winter sets in, many have closed up seasonal cabins and retreats and put their sights on warmer months to come. In many states though, the spring fire season may start before the recreational season for those properties. Is your property ready now?
A recent article by the Michigan State University Extension shared valuable Firewise information to ensure cabins in the wildland are ready for spring fire risk.
The article encourages cabin owners to consider that, “Although “fire season” probably won’t be until next spring following snow melts; it is unlikely most owners will have time to Firewise their structures at that time. A better plan is to leave your property prepared rather than to “hope to get back in time” next spring.”
I caught up with the Michigan Firewise State Liaison Dan Laux, who is also a Wildfire Prevention Specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He shared great prospective that should resonate with seasonal cabin owners in Michigan and beyond. “As snow is starting to cover the northern parts of Michigan and the firearm deer season has just come to a close it is a good time as your closing up your camp or cabin for the season to take a few moments to practice Firewise safety tips you have learned. Many times the spring wildfire season arrives long before the frost is out of the roads enough to make it in to your cabin after the snow melts for that first check of the new season.”
Dan further explained that, “Fires will occur in those area’s long before you have the chance to clean up around your cabin or camp in the spring making it that much more important to take a little extra time on your last visit this fall to clear the leaves and debris from under porches, roof valleys, gutters and around the structure in general even though it might be wet now, that dead grass will dry and be ready to burn that first sunny day in the spring and the steps you take now could make a big difference a few months down the road.”
The Firewise program has many seasonal cabin communities and we continue to learn from the risks they face. If you have a seasonal cabin and have best practices that you employ at season’s end, please share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo credit: April Deming, NPS, NWCG photo library