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Protect Your Cabin from Wildfires

fireCabins are vulnerable to the ravages of wildfire. To help protect your property, your first defense is to establish a defensive zone around your structures.  Every year, hundreds of homes and outbuildings are destroyed by wildfire. Many of these structures could have been saved if cabin owners, and homeowners, had followed some simple suggestions



Within 30 feet* of a home or structure, homeowners should:

    • Reduce or eliminate hazardous evergreen trees, such as pines and spruces that have limbs hanging close to the ground.
    • Remove small trees, household debris, brush and ground fuels (leaves and pine needles).
    • Plant short green grass and keep it watered and
    • mowed. (Lawns are a great fuel break!)
    • Prune lower tree limbs to a height of 6–10 feet, and space trees so crowns are 10–16 feet apart (this prevents fire from jumping through the crowns). Remember that trees grow larger and faster when pruned.
    • Remove small shrubs, ground litter, and dead trees.

And there’s more you can do:

      • Store firewood away from the house, and clear vegetation at least 10 feet away from your propane tanks.
      • Store highly flammable items like gasoline, paint and solvents in a cool, well-ventilated area away from other structures.
      • Leave at least 10 feet between any outbuildings.
      • Within 3 feet of a structure, maintain an area free of combustible materials to prevent flames from having direct contact with your home. (Such materials as gravel, stone chips, concrete, or mineral soil work well next to a home.)
      • Keep your rain gutters and roof free of leaves, pine needles, and other flammable debris. The debris can easily be ignited by windblown sparks.

*Expanding this 30-foot buffer to 100 feet makes these tactics even more effective.

From “Be Fire wise when it comes to your vacation property”, By Kathleen Preece. Pub: May 6, 2014

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