For the past few days Floridians have been following the large wildfire burning in Volusia and Brevard Counties. Freeze dried vegetation along with gusty winds have contributed to the increasing spread of this fire.
Frigid weather conditions in December and January have created freeze dried vegetation in our area as well. These fuels are easily ignited and will burn intensely even at higher humidity levels. Current fire weather forecasts call for active fire behavior throughout the state in the days ahead.
What can you do to prepare and prevent a potential wildfire? The following are some important actions for homeowners to follow.
• Remove all dead ground cover, branches, and trees from the yard.
• Keep rooftops and gutters clean of all leaves, twigs and needles.
• Be aware of objects in close proximity to your home that could serve as fuel in the event of a wildfire and relocate them.
• Landscape with more fire resistant plants and vegetation, keeping them pruned and well watered. Green plants don’t carry fire as well as dried dead plants.
• Provide for a dependable outside water source, i.e. charged water hose, swimming pool, in case you need to put a fire out.
• Create a defensible space 30’-60’ around your home where nothing will ignite or continue to burn. This will help to reduce the risk of losing your home in the event of a wildfire.
• Keep yourself updated on weather forecasts but most importantly put your focus on present conditions.
All of these actions have been proven to help in reducing the risk of wildfire. It’s within your control to take action now.