There are many things people in Maricopa County can do to honor the fallen firefighters of Granite Mountain, but don’t forget one of the most important options – protect your home from wildfire. We’re in the thick of the season and while some might think wildfires don’t happen in Maricopa County -- they do! The Cave Creek Complex fire was one of the largest in Arizona’s history.
A great deal of the neighborhoods in our community are open to large tracts of open space, parks, reserve land or other areas that are susceptible to fire. Even if you live within the core of the community, creating a fire defensible space around your home may save it and help firefighters out in the unfortunate event they have to battle a blaze.
Keeping in mind to work in the early morning hours to avoid heat stress, protecting your structures is relatively easy:
· Define the survivable space around your house. Include detached garages, storage buildings, barns and other structures.
· Involve your neighbors in your plan, making the most of a community effort
· Plan to review your defensible space annually, especially in the Spring.
· Clean gutters and other roof areas on a regular basis, removing all debris which is flammable.
· Clean out landscape drainage features and culverts on your property.
· Clear grasses, brush, trees and other natural and man-made fuels for a minimum of 30 feet around your home.
· Ensure trees and other large bushes remain clear from the roof area to prevent fire jumping on to the structure.
· Review your insurance plan to understand the coverage you have and what restrictions are in play with you policy
· Get more information on protecting your property and community at Firewise or State Forester’s Office.
· Stay prepared!