We recently distributed some tips to the residents of Massachusetts, given the wildland fire activity they were seeing. Now, fires on New York’s Long Island, in upstate New York, as well as Staten Island and nearby Connecticut and New Jersey, have raised concerns for community safety. With experts predicting these conditions will occur through Spring, communities can’t help but feel that they are at high risk from wildfires.
“The unusually dry and whttp://www.firewise.org/indy weather at this time of year means that wildfires pose a greater threat to individual properties and neighborhoods across New York,” 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.”
The Firewise program wants to remind communities that wildfire doesn’t always have to burn everything in its path. Below are a few actions you can take to reduce the risk of your home and property becoming fuel for a wildfire:
- Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
- Create a “fire free” area within five feet of the home, using non-flammable landscaping materials such as rocks, pavers and/or high-moisture content annuals and perennials.
- Remove dead vegetation from under your deck and within 10 feet from the house.
- Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, small propane canisters, dry vegetation, etc.) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it tough your house, deck or porch.
Learn more about how to keep your family safe and reduce your home’s risk for wildfire damage at www.firewise.org. Many resources are free and complementary brochures, booklets, pamphlets, and videos can be found on the “information and resources” page of the website and ordered online through the Firewise catalog.