Wildfire season is here folks and we've already seen some concerning blazes in our area. The NC Forest Service has issued burn bans in all Western counties and warned that the wildfire risk this season is severe, given our persistent drought conditions. Wildfires are much more manageable when we are all prepared; keep reading for some tips on how you can protect your homes and families.
In general, wildfire is a good thing as long as structures don't get damaged and lives aren't lost. Allowing for more frequent, controllable fire, actually reduces the risk of large, catastrophic wildfires. Native animals and plants are adapted to tolerate fire and some even require it to thrive. So, we can put ecological concerns to rest and focus on preparedness for preventing losses.
Rake leaves, clean your gutters and roof, and cut/remove dried out vegetation from around your home.
Trim back trees and shrubs that are within 5 feet of your home or hanging over your roof.
Cut your lawn on the lowest setting up to 50 feet around your home, if possible.
In the rare event that you would need to evacuate, prepare a bag of emergency supplies and make sure you have a chainsaw readily available in case there are trees or debris blocking your exit route.
Mountain Valleys has a tool cache of handy equipment to help you create defensible space around your home. These tools can be checked out for free. Available tools:
Leaf blowers with gutter attachments (4)
Hand saws (4)
Pole saw (1)
Wheel barrows (2)
PPE: helmets, gloves, eye protection, ear protection
Simply contact us at email@example.com or 828-206-6159
Mountain Valleys and our other RC&D partners are working to secure funding for the NC Forest Service and local fire departments/EMS to update Community Wildfire Protection Plans in our most at-risk counties. These are public documents. Once these plans are updated we will be eligible for funding to put them into action. Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed.