Fall Clean Up and Fire Mitigation

What Do You Use To Mend Jack-O-Lantern?… A Pumpkin Patch!

There is always so much to do in the fall with the yard and garden and with the extreme heat that we experienced this summer and the fires that surrounded our area and yet spared us.  As we saw in Lytton this summer and areas around Vernon and West Side Road a small community can be lost to fire and much can be lost with even just an evacuation.  With pleasantly warm fall weather continuing for the next little while some additional effort in the fall clean up can help with the next summers heat wave.  

Although we know that covering vents such as in attics and crawl spaces with wire mesh can help keep rodents and other pest out of the house the use of wire screens this can also help with keeping airborne embers from getting into your home during a fire.  It should be 1/8 of an inch and no smaller as it can prevent good air flow in your home if it is any smaller.   There is even some that will swell when exposed to heat and almost seal your home from flying embers.

Be sure to clean up all waste, vegetation and debris especially evergreen needles as these are heavy in resin and will burn very hot and for a long time, with the heat this summer there was a lot of trees that dropped large amounts of their needles.  The leaves and needles on your roof and in your gutters too should be cleaned out well and checked again during the hotter months starting in June.

Trees and vegetation should be removed from around the house and all bark mulch should be removed as well, although attractive it can be an issue in a fire,  if you can switch to rock mulch and only have small plants that do not reach up to the siding on your home and well spaced so fire can not devour these plants and lead directly to your home.  Perhaps nice pots with plants can be placed along a fire proof band that surrounds your house.   Trees should although safer that bushes should be no closer that 6 feet from buildings and should have no limbs that are below the 6 foot mark as well.  Plants that should not be near your home include Cedar, Juniper, Yew, Tall Grasses and Spruce.   Any plant with aromatic leaves or needles have a heavy resin in them will burn hot and ferociously when ignited.

Fences can be a big fuel source as well so if you are replacing an old wooden fence consider metal fencing instead.  If wood is being used there are fire resistant woods available and use thicker planks as the are more resistant to fire, be sure to keep grasses down under and along your fence and the supporting posts.  Chain link can be very attractive with Ivy growing on it that will provide the privacy wanted.  There are many other small things and some big that can help protect your home and some of these will be mentioned in the time frame that they become an issue.   Much is being done and researched as to how best to protect our homes and communities from the ravages of fire and more will be being done to help everyone to become fire smart and this will hopefully be of great value as this heat trend and wildfire destruction will continue as our planet experiences the effects of global warming.

Samantha Nason
BS Ranch & Greenhouses
250 547 6567 • samanthanason@hotmail.com

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