Protecting Your Property and Home from Wildfire

Smokey Bear says, "Only you can prevent wildfires".

Protecting your land and your home from fire is all about prevention. Reducing your risk now will keep your home, your family and your woods safer when wildfire strikes.

Not sure where to start? Here’s your checklist for fire prevention: 

Around your home:

  • Use fireproof or fire-resistant material. If you can, build or replace structures with fire-resistant materials—metal roofs are a good example. Put skirting around mobile homes or decks to keep flammable leaves and other debris out, and make sure to install a spark arrester on your chimney.
  • Clear the area of fuel. Get rid of dead limbs, twigs, leaves and other vegetation that’s less than 30 feet from your home. That includes overhanging branches, firewood and anything else that will burn.
  • Maintain access. Make sure your driveway and any other roads or paths through your property are wide enough to accommodate local fire department vehicles.
  • Know your resources. Identify your nearest water sources—water hydrants, ponds or pools—and make sure they’re accessible at all times. Keep a hose that reaches all the way around your house readily available, along with fire extinguishers and hand tools. You may even opt to get your own firefighter’s backpack water pump or a small fire control tank (these can be mounted on ATVs, tractors or trucks).
  • Have a plan. Develop an escape plan and discuss it with your family, so everyone is prepared if the worst happens.

For more on wildfires, wildfire prevention, and where to get professional help, go to our Fire Resources Guide.

*contains information adapted from the Project Learning Tree Focus on Forests and Focus on Risk curriculum.

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