FLORENCE – Winter rains promised the first truly outstanding wildflower bloom in several years. Mother Nature did not disappoint. But come June, July and August when the wildflowers are just a memory, all those green plants dry out and become wildfire fuel. By becoming Firewise,* you can protect your home and your community.
Firewise people create "defensible space" around their homes meaning that you have a 30 foot perimeter of space around your home that is lean, clean and green. Lean means you prune back shrubs and tree branches within 15 feet of any structures. Clean means you clean out dead plant material from around your home. Green means you have planted fire-resistant vegetation and are keeping it healthy and green.
Also, make sure your home is properly marked for emergency access, an entryway clear from flammable material. Most of all, have a plan in case you need to evacuate due to fire.
Before you are confronted with an emergency, it's a good idea to have the following emergency plans in place. Be sure to take into consideration specific family health as well as the needs of specific family members who may suffer from disabilities or medical conditions.
- Post your local fire and police station numbers by your home phone and program them into your cell phone.
- Decide where you will go in case of a fire and plan how you will get there.
- Plan for your pets and their safety also.
- In case of fire, have tools available such as a shovel, rake, axe, handsaw, chainsaw and a 2 gallon bucket. Also:
- Flashlights and extra batteries.
- First aid kit.
- Dust mask to help filter air.
- Wrenches or pliers to turn off utilities.
- Battery or hand crank radio, extra batteries.
- Three day supply of non-perishable food.
- Local maps.
*Firewise Communities is part of the National Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Program, which is directed and sponsored by the Wildland/Urban Interface Working Team of the National Wilfdfire Coordinating Group, a consortium of wildland fire organizations and federal agencies responsible for wildland fire management in the United States. Learn more at www.firewise.org