1. If the common areas around my community have been cleared of risky overgrowth, do I have to do anything to my own property for wildfire risk?
Yes. Many homes burn down because embers have found a weak link on the property, like trash piled next to the home, gutters filled with leaves, vents with openings large enough for embers to enter, flammable materials attached to the home and more.
2. End of droughts and wet summers where I live mean wildfire is no longer a problem.
No. Wildfire is a year round problem. According to Robert Westover of the US Forest Service, wildfire has become a year round problem. It is no longer relegated to certain areas and specific fire seasons. A year-round wildfire season calls for a year of living less dangerously.
3. Can a house catch fire from embers from a wildfire even if the house not next to the fire?
Yes. Homes far from the fire can catch fire from embers (bits of burning material lofted into the air by wind)
4. Should you park your car next to your house if a wildfire is coming?
No. Move cars, wood piles, trash and other flammable materials away from the side of the home before a wildfire event. Many materials in the car upholstery, tires, etc. are highly flammable.
5. Do dual paned windows make a house safer in the event of a wildfire?
Yes. Dual paned windows can contribute to making your home more fire resistive. It is the little things that can cause a home to burn down. Embers can enter vents and start the house on fire from the inside out.
6. Can vents of a home can be an avenue for embers from a wildfire to start a house on fire?
Yes. Winds contribute to the development of embers (bits of burning material lofted into the air by wind), but there are many things that a homeowner can do to harden their home before a wildfire that will protect it from wind lofted embers.
7. If it’s really windy in my area, would Firewise even work?
8. Do I have to keep my roof and gutters cleaned out more than once per year?
Yes being Firewise is really important especially when it is windy because embers being lofted by the wind can cause a home to burn. If your house and landscape has been properly maintained using Firewise principals before a wind driven fire there is less chance for a home to ignite.
Yes. Clean roofs and gutters throughout the year will prevent the accumulation of materials that could ignite during a wildfire.
9. Can embers travel over a mile from a wildfire?
10. How are wildfires prominently started?
B. Embers can travel over 1 mile or about 12 city blocks
A. Humans predominantly cause wildfires.
11. Can wildfires travel up to 14 miles per hour?
B. According to research by the US Department of Agriculture wildfire can travel up to 14 MPH. That is faster than a giraffe can run! Decrease wildfire by choosing the right plants.
For more information, visit the Firewise website.