Protect yourself from wildfires


Note: in the print edition of this issue, this article appears as a sidebar to another news article,"Home is where the heat is."

The Montana Division of Disaster and Emergency Services has a few suggestions for making your home more fire safe:

    • Remove natural fuels such as dry grass, brush and trees, from within 100 feet of your home.
    • Lop off dead branches over the roof of a house and within 10 feet of a chimney.
    • Move firewood piles away from all structures.
    • Prune the branches of taller trees to six feet above the ground so that a ground fire cannot climb into the crown of the trees.
    • No matter how attractive they look, never cover a roof with wooden cedar shingles. Fiery brands and ash often precede a wildfire and can ignite a wooden roof miles from the main fire.
    • Enclose the underside of porches and decks to keep fire from creeping under the house.
    • Clearly mark all water sources on your property so firefighters can easily get to them.

    • Be aware that firefighters may avoid homes where the driveway provides no turnaround for fire engines, homes on roads with light bridges that won't carry heavy, water-laden trucks, and homes at the heads of forested draws.

Copyright © 2000 HCN and Mark Matthews

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