The traditional warm, dry summer weather has returned to North Bend. As the weather continues to warm and land dries out, brush fire risk increases. There are simple, low-cost changes you can make around your home and yard to increase wildfire safety.
Wildfire Risk Reduction Tips:
- ONLY start a campfire or bonfire in an appropriate fire pit, cleared of all vegetation and ringed by stones; CHECK local burn bans to ensure campfires are allowed; NEVER leave it unattended; DON’T use a fire pit on a windy day; ALWAYS make sure your recreational fire is completely doused with water and smothered with dirt when done.
- DON’T park a hot car or other machines in dry grass.
- SPARK arrestors are required for tractors, off-road vehicles and equipment being used in wooded areas, such as chainsaws.
- DISPOSE of cigarette/cigar butts and used matches in a closed container or cup of water; NEVER throw butts out car windows; KEEP lighters and matches out of reach of children.
- FOLLOW all fireworks laws and safety protocols, including keep a bucket of water nearby and NEVER let kids use them unsupervised.
- REMOVE leaves, pine needles, and other flammable material from the roof, gutters, and on and under the deck to help prevent embers from igniting your home.
- SCREEN areas below decks and porches with 1/8” wire mesh to help prevent material from accumulating underneath.
- COVER exterior attic and soffit vents with 1/8” wire mesh to help prevent sparks from entering your home.
- ENCLOSE eaves to help prevent ember entry.
- INSPECT shingles or roof tiles. REPLACE missing shingles or tiles. COVER ends of tiles with bird stops or cement to help prevent ember penetration during a wildfire.
- REMOVE dead vegetation and other flammable materials, especially within the first 5 feet of the home.
- KEEP your lawn maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to help reduce fire intensity.
- PRUNE tree limbs so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet above the ground to help reduce the chance of fire getting into the crowns of the trees.
- MOVE construction material, trash, and woodpiles at least 30 feet away from the home and other outbuildings.
- DISPOSE of branches, weeds, leaves, pine needles, and grass clippings that you have cut to reduce fuel for fire.
More information can be found at https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Wildfire/Firewise-USA