WILD FIRE INFORMATION

Wildfire Season is at it's peak until the first substantial rains fall! Stay prepared!


Create a Wildfire Action Plan

Your Wildfire Action Plan must be prepared, and familiar to all members of your household well in advance of a wildfire. Use the checklist below to help create your plan. Each family’s plan will be different, depending on a variety of issues, needs, and situations.

Your Wildfire Action Plan Checklist:

Create an evacuation plan that includes:
  • A designated emergency meeting location outside the fire or hazard area. This is critical to determine who has safely evacuated from the affected area. Several different escape routes from your home and community.  Practice these often so everyone in your family is familiar in case of emergency.
  • Have an evacuation plan for pets and large animals such as horses and other livestock.
  • A Family Communication Plan that designates an out-of-area friend or relative as a point of contact to act as a single source of communication among family members in case of separation. (It is easier to call or message one person and let them contact others than to try and call everyone when phone, cell, and internet systems can be overloaded or limited during a disaster.) 
Be Prepared:
  • Have fire extinguishers on hand and train your family how to use them (check expiration dates regularly).
  • Ensure that your family knows where your gas, electric, and water main shut-off controls are located and how to safely shut them down in an emergency.
  • Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit for each person, as recommended by the American Red Cross. (See next section for details.)
  • Maintain a list of emergency contact numbers posted near your phone and in your emergency supply kit.
  • Keep an extra Emergency Supply Kit in your car in case you cannot get to your home because of fire or other emergency.
  • Have a portable radio or scanner so you can stay updated on the fire.
  • Tell your neighbors about Ready, Set, Go! and your Wildfire Action Plan.
- See more at: http://www.readyforwildfire.org/wildfire_action_plan#sthash.jqAtBwrs.dpuf

 

Reduce Fire Risks: For the Home

  • Use only noncombustible roofing materials, such as Class-A asphalt shingles, slate or clay tile, metal, cement and concrete products, or terra-cotta tiles.
  • Cover exterior walls with stucco, stone, brick or other nonflammable materials.
  • Choose dual-pane, tempered windows, which don't break as easily as single-pane glass.
  • Install screens with at least ⅛-inch mesh on vents to prevent embers from entering the house.
  • Add protective barriers made from masonry or metal between your home and any attached structure, such as a wood fence.

 

Reduce Fire Risks: Around the Home

Some preventive maintenance and landscaping work can help keep the flames from reaching your house. Here's how to create what the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes calls a "defensible space" around your home and property.

  • Clear branches that overhang the roof or come within 15 feet of the chimney.
  • Remove dead, dying or diseased trees and shrubs that can fuel fires.
  • Prune appropriate trees to 10 feet above the ground.
  • Keep gutters clear of leaves and twigs.
  • Cut the grass regularly and remove weeds.
  • Move flammable objects, such as woodpiles, propane tanks and gas grills, at least 30 feet from structures.

FLASH promotes a Fire Wise Design for landscapes, which encourages homeowners to think of their property in zones. Think of Zone 1 as closest to your home and other structures; Zones 2, 3 and 4 are gradually farther away. Landscape and maintain the areas accordingly.

  • Zone 1: Plants in this well-irrigated, 30-foot area immediately surrounding your home should be thoughtfully placed and low in flammability. The landscape should be well-groomed to allow firefighting equipment to reach your home. Your local state forester, county extension office or a landscape specialist can tell you which plantings work well in your region.
  • Zone 2: Also use plants with low flammability, and extend the irrigation system to this area.
  • Zone 3: Well-spaced trees and low-growing plants in this zone add another layer of protection by keeping fuel sources for wildfire to a minimum.
  • Zone 4: This perimeter area of natural growth also should be maintained. Prune and thin plants, and remove any vegetation that is highly flammable.

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety also divides landscapes into zones with recommendations to minimize the spread of wildfires. USAA offers more tips with Your Home: 3 Ways to Help Keep Wildfires Away. For more action items to help fireproof your property, see this comprehensive list from the Colorado State Forest Service.

Have questions about State Responsibility Area (SRA) Fire Prevention Fees? -CAL Fire FAQs

 

This link is to an informative booklet by local fire authorities:

Fire Safety - Living with Fire in Santa Cruz County