What Exactly Is Fire Mitigation?
Fire mitigation removes fuels around your house that can create increased heat and exposure to your home in the event of a wildland fire. Wildland fires include grass fires, brush fires and forest fires. The impact of these
fires can be minimized or mitigated by creating a defensible space and taking other actions to reduce the intensity of the fire and help fire crews fight fires that may threaten your home.
What is Defensible Space?
Defensible space is an area around your house where fuels and vegetation are treated, cleared or reduced to slow the spread of fire. This area will allow firefighters to better protect your home from an advancing wildfire. Without defensible
space, firefighters cannot safely fight the fire and they cannot put their lives at risk to protect property. By creating a defensible space, you increase the odds of your house surviving a fire. Thinning trees, removing brush, mowing grass,
and ‘limbing up’ (pruning lower branches) trees near the house reduces the intensity of the fire around your home. Creating breaks in the vegetation, including breaks between trees, around your house provides natural barriers that help firefighters
slow the fire and reduce potential loss.
What should you do to mitigate for fire around your house?
Because trees and shrubs continue to grow, trees drop their leaves and needles, plants die and new plants sprout up, defensible space requires annual maintenance. As a homeowner, you can help prepare your house for the threat of wildfires
by performing the following mitigation activities annually.
- Thin trees and brush
- Dispose of slash and debris from thinning
- Remove dead limbs, leaves and other litter
- Stack firewood away from your home
- Maintain an irrigated greenbelt
- Mow dry grass and weeds
- Prune branches 10 feet above the ground
- Trim branches away from the roof
- Clean roof and gutters
- Reduce the density of the surrounding forest
By creating a defensible space around your house you increase the potential for your house to withstand a fire and make your home more defensible by firefighters.