Fire proofing your home before the danger
The hot and dry weather around the state has kicked off fire season but if your home is ever threatened, there are a few simple changes to your outside landscaping that could mean all the difference.
"With the fire danger going up to high now, it's critical for landowners to do these simple steps," forester and firefighter Guy Gifford said.
It's Gifford's 30th fire season. He's got enough fire tips to fill a book. "We like to see a break around the home that won't readily burn and that's a minimum of 30 feet," Gifford said. The break can be a yard, a driveway, or a garden.
Another important thing to remember is to maintain your trees. "What we like to see is the trees spaced out with gaps between the trees so they have what we call, aerial fuel breaks," Gifford said.
When there is wide gaps in between trees, fire can't spread from tree-top to tree-top. "Thinning the trees out so you got some space will also help prevent this home from being lost in a wildfire," he said.
Pruning branches is another important tip, because a fire can start in the grass, catch onto pine needles and then spread up the tree.
"The recommendation for you is to prune the branches up so they are 10 feet above ground but always leave half the tree in green," Gifford said.
With some work, you can make your home fire resistant and be better able to withstand any flames that come its way.
"We are already hearing back from that area (Colorado Springs) that a lot of the homes that have survived the fires did a lot of these steps," Gifford said.
The Department of Natural Resources does have several grants that can help homeowners with some of these projects.
You can contact the local office at 509-684-7474 for more information.
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