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Preparing your property to deal with fires

Officials say planning out your home and property layout in advance is crucial
Preparing your property to deal with fires. Officials say planning out your home and property layout in advance is crucial.
Preparing your property to deal with fires. Officials say planning out your home and property layout in advance is crucial.(KMVT)
Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 9:35 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - It may be too late to wait until the last second to attempt to make a home and property fire safe.

“That’s just what you are trying to do, slow that growth down and that nice green area around your home provides that buffer, if you will,” said Brian Cunningham, a fire education coordinator with Mid-Snake Resource Conservation and Development.

Keeping grass green around a house is just one of the things people can do to prevent fire damage. Fire Education Coordinator Brian Cunningham stresses keeping the area 0-5 feet from a structure “fire-free.”

“Non-combustible landscaping material like rocks versus mulch, those kinds of things. If they do want plants, we encourage firewise plants and especially up that close to the house," Cunningham said. “Low growing, high in moisture content, low in oil and just really have that a fire-free zone immediately area around their home”

Residences in wildlife and urban interface areas are more susceptible to wildfires. In many of these areas in southern Idaho, wild vegetation like sagebrush borders properties. Experts say just because a person doesn’t own the land, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t monitor it.

“Look for the dead stuff first," Cunningham said. “If you have dead sagebrush, dead trees remove that first and then look at the spacing between that stuff.”

When an evacuation order is given, like the one for Rock Creek, Cunningham says don’t waste any time leaving the area. However, if people have a couple of hours, it is important to remove any combustible materials. The most important thing is to always have a plan.

“When it came down to the evac, we were all but ready," said Rock Creek area resident Zach Chadwick. “All we were doing was just sprinkling and making sure the ground was wet before we got out."

For more information about being firewise, click here.

Copyright 2020 KMVT/KSVT. All rights reserved.

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