Reduce the Risk

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Steps you can take to reduce the risk of losing your home to wildfire
“Work from the Inside Out”

1. Highest Risk – Attics, Crawlspaces, and Roofs

90% of all homes burned down due to wildfire are started by wind-driven embers blown inside the home attic or crawlspace through vent screens that ignites the home from the inside.

What you can do

  • Replace or cover existing 1/4″ vent screens with 1/8″ or smaller vent screens or special fire-resistant screens on soffit vents, gable vents, and foundation vents.
  • Clean out gutters of leaves and debris and cover with metal gutter guards.

2. Next Highest Risk – 0-5 Foot Home Ignition Zone

Create a low or no burn zone right outside your home.

What you can do

Remove or reduce the highly flammable fuels next to your home.

  • Remove highly flammable plants – for example, junipers.
  • Remove all wood mulch and replace with rock, gravel, concrete, pavers, or just dirt.
  • Reduce the size of other plants next to the home, especially under eaves and windows.
    • If a plant on fire under a window gets big enough it will break the glass and ignite the home from the inside or ignite the eaves.
    • The best choices are well irrigated non-woody plants such as annual flowers, perennials, ground covers and lawn that do not grow over 18 inches tall.
    • Prune plants 6-12 inches away from the siding or consider removing them completely.
  • Remove tree limbs within the 5′ zone, 6′ from roofs, and 10′ from chimneys.
  • Fencing within 5 feet – either swing gate or non-flammable material.

3. Next Highest Risk – Beyond 5 feet

Reduce fuels to keep fire from becoming big enough to reach across your 0-5 foot ignition-free zone to ignite your home.

What you can do

  • Remove juniper plants
  • Keep this zone lean of dense vegetation, clean of dead plant material and green or well irrigated.
  • Remove limbs on trees that are lower than 6 feet.
  • Reduce plants under trees to less than 18 inches.
  • Separate plants into small islands separated by non-combustible material.
  • Although any plant can burn, choose plants that do not exhibit bad characteristics that make them more of a fire hazard such as those that produce an abundance of dead material or that contain volatile oils or resins.

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