Eastside Fire & Rescue urges residents to prevent urban wildfires

August 14, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 4 p.m. Aug. 14, 2012

The risk of wildfire is not limited to communities east of the Cascades.

In recent weeks, Eastside Fire & Rescue and other nearby fire departments responded to small brush fires along highways and other roads, neighborhood greenbelts and parks.

Protecting a home from urban brush fires is the homeowner’s responsibility.

Homeowners can take several safety precautions to create a defensible space around a residence. EFR reminds residents to consider topography, nearby vegetation and a home’s fire resistance.

The agency offers tips for homeowners to create a defensible space:

  • Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs. Clear all flammable vegetation and remove vines from walls of the home, and remove rubbish from around the structure. Mow grass regularly.
  • Thin a 15-foot space between tree crowns, and remove limbs within 15 feet of the ground. Thinning is simply reducing the density of vegetation between trees in a yard. Prune tree branches and shrubs within 15 feet of a stovepipe or chimney outlet.
  • Ask the power company to clear branches from power lines.
  • Clear a 10-foot area around propane tanks and barbeques. Place a screen over the grill using nonflammable material with mesh no coarser than ¼-inch.
  • Regularly dispose of newspapers and other flammable materials to appropriate sites.
  • Place stove, fireplace and grill ashes in a metal bucket, soak in water for two days and then bury the cold ashes in mineral soil.
  • Store gasoline, oily rags and other flammable materials in approved safety cans that can be purchased at the hardware store. Place cans in a safe location away from the base of buildings.
  • Stack firewood at least 50 feet away and uphill from a home. Clear combustible material within 20 feet. Use only UL-approved wood burning devices.
  • Create a 30-foot safety zone around a home. Keep the volume of vegetation in this zone to a minimum. The greater the distance between a home and vegetation, the greater the protection.
  • Remove debris on rooftops, in gutters, and under sun decks and porches.
  • Enclose eaves and overhangs. Like porches and balconies, eaves trap the heat rising along the exterior siding. Enclose all eaves to reduce the hazard.
Bookmark and Share
Other Stories of Interest: ,


Got something to say?

Before you comment, please note:

  • These comments are moderated.
  • Comments should be relevant to the topic at hand and contribute to its discussion.
  • Personal attacks and/or excessive profanity will not be tolerated and such comments will not be approved.
  • This is not your personal chat room or forum, so please stay on topic.