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Protecting Your Home From Wildfire

This 25-minute video features Fire Scientist Jack Cohen showing examples of homes that were unprotected during a wildfire, homes using home protection guidelines (see below), and examples where home protection guidelines can be put to use.

Home Protection Guidelines:

  • Eliminate all flammable materials (potential fuels) within 10 feet of the house.

  • Consider any wood roof flammable; wet the whole roof frequently.

  • Remove flammable materials away from decks or boardwalks -- if it's connected to the house, consider it part of the house.

  • Remove pine needles from gutters and the roof.

  • Staple metal window screening over any openings or gaps including low decks, walkways and crawl spaces.

  • If possible, place sprinklers to wet the area around the house especially within 60 feet of the house.

  • Reduce or eliminate surface fuels starting at the house to within 100 feet of the house and prune lower limbs of trees at least 8 feet above the ground.

"Most of the houses I've examined very likely ignited from small spot ignitions on or adjacent to the home -- not from the big crown fire flames. That means a homeowner can easily do fuel reductions that can potentially save their homes."
-- Jack Cohen

Research Topics: 
Fire; Wildland/urban interface
National Strategic Program Areas: 
Wildland Fire and Fuels
RMRS Science Program Areas: 
Fire, Fuel and Smoke
RMRS Strategic Priorities: 
Fire Sciences