PHOENIX — Wildfire season is here! Are you prepared?
During this time of social distancing, why not take on projects around your home to improve your property’s wildfire resilience and to protect your investment.
By taking part in Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, which is Saturday, you’ll join hundreds of communities across the nation working to decrease the chances a wildfire could damage your home and community.
“Wildfires will move quickly and sometimes you just don’t have a lot of time,” said Wildland Firewise Specialist Jerolyn Byrne with the Flagstaff Fire Department and Summit Fire and Medical. “I’ve been working on my own property this week, pulling up cheatgrass.”
She has some simple things you can do to "firewise" your property, to eliminate fire hazards.
“The home on your property is the bullseye and then you’re going to be working from your home outward,” she said.
Jerolyn says you should remove pine needles and leaf litter from off your roof, gutters, decks, and away from the foundation of your home. Those are places embers from a wildfire could collect and ignite.
“Embers are the number one factor in how homes get ignited during wildfire season,” she said.
Be sure to clear out dead materials from the plants in your yard.
“Grasses that are drying out around your home, you want to make sure you’re mowing those back,” she said. “You want to think lean, clean, and green.”
Jerolyn recommends creating a "Go" Kit, remembering the five "P’s" - People, Pets, Prescriptions, Papers, and Photos.
“Preparing for a wildfire today, you’re just buying yourself that much more time,” said Byrne. “You’re buying first responders more time to get to your house and be able to effectively respond.”
So as wildfire season ramps up in Arizona, by doing these simple things, you’ll create survivable space and defend your home.