|Fire officials advise taking steps to keep homes safe|
|Written by The Curry Coastal Pilot|
|July 13, 2012 09:42 pm|
With the recent wildfires raging across parts of Eastern Oregon, the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal and Oregon Department of Forestry and Curry County Fire Chiefs are urging all homeowners to reassess the steps they need to take to help protect their home from wildfire.
Here in the Brookings South Coast area there have been quite a few days of fog and cool days. However, conditions are critical for wildfire. Residents are urged to be vigilant. All burning has been suspended without permits.
“Conditions are hot and dry throughout the state,” warns Oregon Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “Homeowners, and the preventive actions they take, are the best defense against approaching wildfires.
The most critical factor is for homeowners to remove or reduce flammable fuels within a 100-foot safety zone around their home.
“In the summers in eastern Oregon, lightning without significant rainfall is always a concern, says Oregon Department of Forestry Information Officer Rod Nichols. “Now is the time to take preventative steps before your home is threatened by fire.”
Here are just a few of the preventative steps recommended by the OSFM and ODF. You can find more online on the OSFM website and the Keep Oregon Green website:
•Remove the dead and dying material that accumulates around forest homes. Cut out the dead branches or brush, clean the leaves and needles out of the gutters and off the roof.
•Prune branches from the lower 10 feet of trees to remove “ladder fuels.” (Ladder fuels take a ground fire into the tops, or crowns, of trees.) Prune any branches that may be overhanging the home and/or chimneys.
•Plant fire-resistant landscapes. Most fire resistant plants can be found at your local nursery.
•Remove debris, firewood and other stored items from under decking and enclose decking with 1/8-inch screen mesh to keep out burning embers.
•Enclose eves, fascias, soffits, and sub-floor vents using 1/8 inch or smaller, non-corrosive metal mesh.
•Install metal, tile, concrete, or Class A rated fire resistant asphalt roofing.
•Cover exterior walls with fire resistant materials such as stucco, stone, or brick. Vinyl siding can melt and is not recommended.
•Use double-paned or tempered glass for all exterior windows.
•Consider installing a residential fire sprinkler system.