Maintaining vigilance through the 2021 fire year
The 2021 fire year is halfway through, and it has been a busy one so far. As of today, the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) reports over 32,000 fires had been reported, burning over 1.6 million acres. Communities have been threatened and homes have been lost.
Looking forward, the National Interagency Fire Center’s (NIFC’s) Predictive Services newest National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook for July, August, September, and October 2021 shows much of the west above normal wildfire potential. This is setting up for a volatile situation.
While the main objective of NIFC’s outlook is to improve information to fire management decision makers for proactive wildland fire management, thus better protecting lives and property, reducing firefighting costs and improving firefighting efficiency; it can also be of use to wildfire preparedness practitioners and residents.
The outlook reminds us to be proactive, dedicating time throughout the year to improve your home's chances of withstanding a wildfire. Here are a few actions you can take:
- Clean out leaves, needles, and other debris from your roof and gutters
- Move any flammable material away from wall exteriors – mulch, flammable plants, leaves and needles, firewood piles – anything that can burn. Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches.
- Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating
- Create space between plants, trees and shrubs in the 5-30 foot zone from the house, limit to small clusters of a few of each to break up the continuity of the vegetation across the landscape.
For more ideas on what steps to take around your home and property visit our Preparing Homes for Wildfires Page.
You can also order a package of our Reducing Wildfire Risks in the Home Ignition Zones Poster checklists to share with your friends and neighbors.