Wild Fires Revisited

California Wildfires Revisited ;

Last year I wrote an article regarding the dangers of current wildfire conditions in California. Since then we have had three more of the worst wild fires in history. The Carr fire in Redding the Woolsey fire in LA and the apocalyptic Camp fire in Paradise.

In all cases the fires are spread by high winds blowing firebrands [ embers ] onto adjacent flammable materials and houses. Until our forests are managed differently it is up to the home owner to protect themselves and property from wildfire.

What to do ;

  1. Keep flammable materials away from the home. Keep brush and flammable trees 100 feet away. Make sure ground cover is non flammable, use alternatives such as gravel. No wood chips, green grass is OK. Keep your roof and yard clean of leaves and pine needles.
  2. If possible install fire resistant roof and siding. Double glazed windows are good.
  3. Do not leave flammable furniture next to the house.
  4. Install an exterior “ rain bird “ sprinkler system on the roof and side walls of the home. All piping should be copper, sprinkler heads should be brass. The system can be manually activated by ball valve or by electronic remote call switch. If a fire is near your home activate the sprinklers and let them wet the entire structure 30 minutes ahead of time if possible. These systems should be professionally installed and tested. This is a relatively new field so finding a pro to help may take a bit of searching. I do install these systems and they are not inexpensive but just may be worth it if a fire comes.
  5. If your county will not allow the exterior sprinkler system by code it is possible to pump from an existing swimming pool or tank. Fire brand suppression systems must be built and tested well in advance of fire season.

Remember almost all horrific fires are WIND BLOWN and the firebrands go everywhere by the millions. If a fire is within a mile they WILL lodge in every space possible in and on your home. A great way to keep your home from igniting is to keep it wet.

Dave Mason

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