We are seeing a “perfect storm” situation throughout the western United States and Canada with record-breaking heat, record fuel loads, record drought, and record losses to wildfires. The cost of suppressing these fires is depleting the funds budgeted for fire prevention. To make things worse, the number of firefighters available is limited both locally and nationally, such that sharing resources is increasingly difficult.
Despite these increasing challenges, you can protect your home from wildfires. Here’s what you can do to help solve this problem right now.
Don’t Choose to Be a Victim
The good news about the depletion of fire prevention budgets is that you are the one in control of protecting your home. Firefighters won’t ember proof your home or create a non-ignition zone—that’s your job. Take responsibility by learning specific, relatively simple measures to help your home survive a wildfire in your absence.
If you prefer to learn via video, here’s a lecture I gave for the Jackson Oaks Homeowners’ Association 2016 Fire Prevention Seminar in Morgan Hill, California. The video shows how these measures have been implemented on the steep slopes of Hiller Highlands, Phase V, in Oakland CA. Phase V was consumed by the 1991 firestorm in 20 minutes, showering dangerous embers far downwind and across two freeways.
Wildfire prevention is not a one-time activity. It requires regular on-going maintenance, like a hair style.
Protect Your Entire Property from Embers
You must harden your home and its surrounds against embers even if it is some distance from a fire, as 70% of homes are ignited by embers.
Read my Wildfire Prevention Guide
Get more detailed information by ordering a copy of The Homeowner’s Guide to Wildfire Prevention from Amazon.com. This concise book gathers all that I’ve learned in twenty years of research. It’s available as a paperback or an e-book from Amazon.com.
In Conclusion, Work Together!
These steps can be implemented immediately and do not require any funding by state or local agencies. They go beyond the minimum actions required by inspectors. What we need is a change in behavior of homeowners, who can and must take control of their home ignition zone, which they own. It takes a community.