Shasta County is experiencing an exceptional drought and California is once again battling unforgiving wildfires. With temps reaching over 100 degrees and no significant rain in sight, now is the time to think seriously about your wildfire emergency plan. Because fire preparation is the first step in protecting our lives, our homes, and our communities.
Although climate and environmental factors are not something you can control, there are tangible things you can do to prepare for a wildfire emergency. Consider these helpful tips to protect your family and your home.
Prepare your family
Gather the family together and discuss your evacuation plan in the event of a wildfire emergency. Prepare an emergency supply kit for each person. Next, have a practice session so everyone understands what to do. Try to anticipate potential snags that will slow down your evacuation (e.g., can’t find the cat carrier, one person is still at work so you’ll have to grab their go bag for them, etc.). Make readjustments to the strategy as needed. Above all, make sure everyone—especially children—feel confident in your family’s emergency evacuation plan.
Create defensible space around your home
Defensible space is the key to improving your home’s chances of surviving a wildfire. You are essentially creating a buffer zone—maintaining distance between your home and grass, shrubs, and trees. That space—free of fire-fueling vegetation—can slow or stop the spread of wildfire contacting your home. A defensible space also allows firefighters a safe area to work in while trying to save your home. Creating a proper defensible space would include:
- Use hardscape—gravel, concrete, pavers or similar—instead of mulch or bark which is combustible. This creates an ember-resistant zone immediately around your home.
- Remove dead or dying vegetation at least five feet out from around your home (including gutters, roof, and decks).
- Remove branches that could contact your roof (hanging above or touching). Enlist the help of an experienced arborist to safely remove tree limbs or branches.
- Clean out dry leaves, dead grass, pine cones, needles, etc. from under porches or stairways.
- Move woodpiles further away from your home.
- Fire breaks and lot clearing along with brush chipping are very effective ways to stop the spread of fire. Call a local trusted tree service—like A-1 Tree Service & Stump Removal—for expert advice.
Stay alert and take all fire warnings seriously. Follow the recommendations on how to prevent and prepare for wildfires from our friends at the Redding Fire Department.
Have questions about preparing your yard for fire season? Give us a call today at 530-221-9427! A-1 Tree Service & Stump Removal is proud to serve our neighbors in Shasta County. We look forward to working with you soon!