The home ignition zone: How to eliminate fire fuel around your house

The home ignition zone: How to eliminate fire fuel around your house

As flames tear through the Inland Northwest, wildfire officials are urging homeowners to take steps to protect their property from potential damage.

Guy Gifford with the Department of Natural Resources said fire danger could be sitting right in your own yard. He told KXLY4 homeowners should be keeping an eye on what’s called the home ignition zone, which is broken up into three areas.

The first hot spot includes your home and the five feet surrounding it.

“Keep it clean. Don’t have anything that could easily ignite from a single match. An ember is just like a match,” Gifford said. “So if anything around that zone one could easily ignite, do something with it. Remove it for the summer.”

Gifford said homeowners should take steps to remove needles, branches and debris from their porches.

The second area in the home ignition zone, Gifford said, covers the thirty feet around your house.

“That’s your yard, your garden,” Gifford said. “An area that won’t readily burn that protects your house from the flames when a tree burns out in your forest land.”

The third zone can stretch as far as 300 feet away from your property.

“That’s where you thin the trees out, thin some of the bushes out,” Gifford said. “So we get flame lengths down to an intensity where we can easily put out as firefighters.”

Gifford said by clearing pine needles, taking care of your lawn, and thinning out trees and bushes, you’ll be clearing natural fuels and doing firefighters a favor this season.

“Those little things that take up not a lot of time, but could make a big difference,” Gifford said.

Gifford said the Department of Natural Resources has grants to help homeowners who need help thinning trees less than 20 feet in height. He also mentioned the DNR has representatives who will walk through properties and work with homeowners to prioritize fire protection plans. To contact the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, call (509) 684-7474.