According to current NOAA fire weather mapping areas of the Southwest and Hawaii are at an above normal level of wildfire danger. Some areas of Arizona, Northern California, and Nevada are under a red flag warning. The National Interagency Coordination Center on June 9, already reported 94 new fires with 12 large uncontained fires.
A big concern is that the very wet spring has contributed to a prolific growth of grasses and brush because of the wet winter and spring. The season is starting to get warm and the “fine fuels” in the form of grasses and small shrubs are starting to dry out. This dry vegetation can easily ignite with small sparks from lawn mowers, motorcycle engines without spark arrestors etc. unlike larger thicker pieces of fuel like large branches. Once this material ignites it can cause larger longer burning fuel sources to ignite.
Following some simple steps can help to protect your home from wildfire:
- Make sure the area around your home especially the first five feet is clear of debris.
- Make sure to put away flammable outdoor cushions, mats and other furniture inside or away you’re your home and deck when you are away.
- Clean pine needles and leaves from your gutters, decks, and roofs.
- Trim dead material from vegetation around your home and remove dead leaves and other materials from underneath plants and bushes.
- Make sure that your vents are maintained and or screened so that you do not provide an entry point for large embers.
- Fill cracks and potential ember entry points around eaves.
Check out NFPA’s Firewise USA™ website for information and downloadable resources with information about how you and your family and neighbors can work together to create safer communities. Learn what simple steps you can take today to make your home and neighborhood safer places to live this year.
Photo submitted by Bob Kim from Dalton, Georgia for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day