The Utah summer is in full swing, and for those who have lived here for more than a year or two, you’re well aware this is peak wildfire season in dry climates like ours. And while we wish it were not the case, wildfires have been interfering with urban areas more and more often over recent years, meaning homeowners need to be particularly diligent.
At Reliable Tree Care, while we specialize in tree disease control, trimming, removal and other services, our experts are also well-educated on the tactics you should be taking to limit fire risks on your property – particularly risks that could be spread by larger trees. With this in mind, let’s go over some general fire prevention areas, terms to know, and approaches to take to ensure your home and property are safe from these risks.
General Fire Prevention Tactics
The simplest theme associated with fire prevention: Limiting any fuel source around the property that could help build a fire up. Most of these sources are easy to pick out: Dead or dying branches that have dried out, dead grass, large shrubs and bushes, and especially any firewood or related items left out in the yard.
Wherever possible, look to limit these potential fuel sources. Prune dead or dying tree branches so they aren’t left on the tree, making it more susceptible to fire in hot conditions.
“Fire Ladder” and Wildfire Risks
Through dead and dry vegetation, an element firefighters would call a “fire ladder” is created when wildfires get started. When this vegetation stays in place and is allowed to accumulate, it leads to fire contacting it and spreading more easily to elevated areas, such as taller trees or even structures like homes and commercial buildings.
Defensible Space Zones
To help limit the potential for a fire ladder, it’s important to create a barrier known as a defensible space zone. This is a buffer area where you’ve removed all potential fire fuel sources, one that will hopefully halt the progress of a fire if it reaches your home.
Now, it’s important to note that creating such a zone doesn’t simply mean you’re done here. Factors like wind and burning embers are a big part of fires spreading, meaning you should be taking additional precautions to fireproof your structures and limit these risks.
Local Ordinances and Fire Risks
Local ordinances tend to require endangered habitats be protected through defensible space zones, and these same themes apply to private homeowners in these areas as well. If your home is located within 400 feet of any wildland, you’re considered to be on a wildland-urban interface and will be allowed to dispose of any fire fuel risks in designated onsite locations. You should take advantage of this service if it applies to you.
For more on how tree owners and all Utah homeowners alike should protect their property in case of wildfire concerns, or to learn about any of our tree trimming or tree removal services, speak to the staff at Reliable Tree Care today.