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Protect Your Home from Wildfire

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Protecting Your Home from a Brush or Wildland Fire

Every year many families unnecessarily lose their homes and possessions to wildland fires. This was the case with the 400 acre fire that occurred in August of 2017 in Rochester (Thurston County). These losses can be minimized if homeowners take the time to become aware of safety measures to help protect their homes and complete some effective actions.

Dry conditions and warm weather can make grasses, brush, and trees unusually receptive to fire starts. Here are some things you can do today to protect your home and family by maintaining a survivable space.

  • Clean roof surfaces and gutters of pine needs, leaves, branches, etc., regularly to avoid accumulation of flammable materials.

  • Remove portions of any tree extending within 10 feet of the flue opening of any stove or chimney.

  • Maintain a screen constructed of non-flammable material over the flue opening of every chimney or stovepipe. Mesh openings of the screen should not exceed 1/2 inch.

  • Landscape vegetation should be spaced so that fire cannot be carried to the structure or surrounding vegetation.

  • Remove branches from trees to height of 15 feet.

  • A fuel break should be maintained around all structures.

  • Dispose of stove or fireplace ashes and charcoal briquettes only after soaking them in a metal pail of water.

  • Store gasoline in an approved safety can, away from occupied buildings.

  • Propane tanks should be far enough away from buildings for valves to be shut off in case of fire. Keep area clear of combustible vegetation.

  • All combustibles such as firewood, picnic tables, boats, etc. should be kept away from structures.

  • Garden hose should be connected to outlet.

  • Addressing should be indicated at all intersections and on structures.

  • All roads and driveways should be at least 16 feet in width.

  • Have fire tools handy such as: ladder long enough to reach the roof, shovel, rake and bucket for water.

  • Each home should have at least two different entrance and exit routes.

For additional information and a site visit to assist you with mitigation efforts, please contact Tumwater Fire Department at (360) 754-4170.