BRIAN HEAD, Utah (ABC4) – April showers bring May flowers, but do you know what the dry season brings? Wildfires.
With summer just around the corner, officials are warning the public about wildfire season and reminding them how to stay out of harm’s way.
According to the Brian Head Volunteer Firefighters Association, there are seven ways residents can reduce the risk that their homes and property will become fuel for a wildfire.
Have your area clear of anything flammable
According to the association, in order to protect your home, it is essential to clear off any pine needles, dead leaves, and anything that can burn from your rooflines and fence lines. So make sure to clear out areas like gutters, decks, porches, and patios.
If faced with a fire, falling embers will then have no place to land, thus keeping your home and property safe from potential hazards.
Clearing the outside of your home and property not only includes plants and dead leaves but means storing away any furniture cushions, rattan mats, and deck decorations, since they are also likely to catch embers and help ignite your home.
Screen & Seal
According to the Brian Head Volunteer Firefighters Association, wind-borne embers can get into homes easily through vents and other openings. This can put any home at risk and can result in burning home from the inside out.
Officials recommend walking around your home and examining every possible opening, and then sealing and closing off any area that poses a threat.
Rake, rake, rake
Not only is it essential to clear areas like gutters, decks, porches, and patios but it is just as important to rake through the entire estate.
“Embers landing in mulch that touches your house, deck or fence is a big fire hazard. Rake out any landscaping mulch to at least give five feet away,” they share.
According to the Brian Head Volunteer Firefighters Association, it is vital to trim back any shrubs or tree branches that come closer than five feet to the house and attachments.
As you trim the surrounding area near your home, it is also recommended to trim any overhanging branches, as they also hold a threat.
Say goodbye to the extra stuff
It is wildfire season, and many things are at risk of catching fire. It is best to be over-prepared than not at all.
According to the fire association, when it comes to clearing your home of any fire hazards, that also includes anything that would supplement flames significantly.
“Walk around your house and remove anything within 30-feet that could burn such as woodpiles, spare lumber, vehicles and boats – anything that can act as a large fuel source,” they chime.
Close off everything
If you are ordered to evacuate in case of a fire, make sure all windows and doors are closed tightly. This also includes sealing up any pet doors.
According to the Brian Head Volunteer Firefighters Association, many homes are destroyed by embers entering these openings and burning the house from the inside out.
For more information on how to be prepared in case of a wildfire, checkout https://firemarshal.utah.gov/fire-life-safety-education/fire-prevention/.