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Wildland Fire Safety
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Citizens are moving farther into “natural” areas to take advantage of the privacy, natural beauty, recreational opportunities and country living. Developers are building neighborhoods to accommodate the influx, but as a result, fire departments are fighting fires along the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).
Your fire department takes every precaution to help protect you and your property from wildfire. However, the reality is that in a major wildfire, there will simply not be enough fire engines or firefighters to defend every home, and that is why it is imperative that you help us by preparing your home, property, and your ability to evacuate if needed. To enable firefighters the ability to better protect your home in the WUI setting, homeowners should provide a defensible space or buffer zone. Through advance planning and preparation, we can all be ready for wildfire.
Defensible space is the area between a house and an oncoming wildfire where the vegetation has been modified to reduce the wildfire threat and to provide an opportunity for firefighters to effectively defend the house. To create this defensible space, 2 defensible zones in your landscaping should be developed in the following manners:
Zone 1: 30 feet, moist and trim
Zone 2: 30 - 100 feet, low, sparse, and trimmed high content
This home survived the 308 Fire in Llano County in July 2018 due to great firescape and zone landscaping.
- Use non-combustible roofing (asphalt, metal or clay tiles) and siding (log, masonite, stucco or brick) on your home.
- Accessibility to your home is critical. The width, overhead clearance, grade, and surface of your drive can make a difference in emergency response. Having a well marked address is extremely necessary.
- Keep plant material lean, green and clean at least 30 feet from home. Trim shrubs and trees regularly and remove any dead plant material.
- Remove "ladder fuels" that help fire leap or climb from grass to tree tops.
- Avoid planting evergreens or other flammable shrubs within 5 feet of structures. These plants burn intensely and can be receptacles for firebrands.
- Remove debris from under decks and screen in posts or lattice with 1/4 inch screen.
- Stack woodpiles at least 10 feet from your home and clear 10 feet on all sides. Place propane or other flammable gas tanks 30 feet from any structure.