abc
QUICK LINKS:

Don't Fuel the Fire, Homeowner Safety Tips

Updated: 08/15/2014 11:47 AM
Created: 08/15/2014 11:17 AM WDIO.com
By: Tree Care Industry Association

Nearly every state has experienced fires that rage out of control in the landscape. While the largest and most devastating burn in the West, fires also spread in the East and South, where suburb meets country, or housing development meets conservation land.

Homeowners can protect their properties in two ways:

  1. Design and maintain a landscape that discourages fires
  2. Build with flame-resistant materials

"Fires need fuel, such as dead trees, shrubs and grasses," Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, CTSP* and staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) said in a press release. "While no landscape is fireproof, there are steps you can take to reduce the danger."

TCIA offers these tips for your landscape to combat wildfires:

  • If you are in a wildfire-prone area, reduce the amount of potential fuel around your home. Provide enough tree-free space between your home and the undeveloped land to help ensure that your home can survive without firefighters.
  • All dead branches that hang over your roof should be removed. Leaves, needles and other dead vegetation should not be allowed to build up on the roof or in gutters.
  • In parts of the country where wildfires are rare, an area of well-irrigated vegetation should extend at least 30 feet from your home on all sides. In high-hazard areas, a clearance of between 50 and 100 feet or more may be necessary - especially on downhill sides of the lot.
  • Further from the house, install low-growing shrubs. When planting trees, space them at least 10 feet apart. Beyond 100 feet from the house, dead wood and older trees should be removed or thinned by qualified professionals.
  • The lower limbs of tall shade trees should be pruned 6 feet above the ground. A professional arborist should always be contacted to remove any large broken or dead limbs high in the tree. Careful pruning preserves a tree's appearance, enhances structural integrity and assists in the plant's ability to resist fire.

"As a general rule, the healthier the tree, the more likely it is to survive a fire," explains Andersen. "In addition to pruning, a professional arborist can recommend fertilization, soil management, disease treatment or pest control measures to promote healthy trees. Landscape design and maintenance are also important factors in a home's survival."

An easy way to find a tree care service provider in your area is to use the "Locate Your Local TCIA Member Companies" program. You can use this service by calling 1-800-733-2622 or by doing a ZIP Code search on www.treecaretips.org.

Winthrop, Washington wildfire
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Front Page

  • Body Cameras Aim to Hold Duluth Police, Community Members Accountable

    Duluth is on the forefront of a nationwide movement toward the use of body cameras. Now after five months of using the technology, Duluth Police and community members alike say they are both helpful — and have some hiccups.

  • Sawyer Co. Homicide Charge Dropped

    Prosecutors have dropped a homicide charge against a man in the death of his wife at a Sawyer County cabin after further investigation yielded more evidence.  The charge against Cade G. Clark, 26, was dropped during a hearing on Wednesday.

  • Supporters Hold Rally for UMD Coaches

    Supporters for Shannon Miller and the rest of the UMD women's hockey staff rallied on campus Wednesday morning. This comes in reaction to Monday's announcement of UMD deciding not to extend the coaches' contracts. 

  • Local Moviegoers Weigh In on 'The Interview' Cancellation

    After a cyber attack against a major Hollywood studio, the screening of the controversial comedy "The Interview" has been canceled at theaters across the United States including locally at Duluth 10. Sony's decision to cancel the film's release comes after hackers broke into the company's computer system and threatened to attack U.S. theaters.

  • Final IRRRB Meeting for Outgoing Commissioner Tony Sertich

    IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich says farewell at his final meeting, which was quite a busy one.

 
Advertisement