Arizona's hot, dry climate is perfect for wildfires. No matter where you live, a wildfire could happen at any time. You stand a better chance of protecting your family and property if you are practiced on how to react.
Before a fire, there are things you can do to prepare. If asked to evacuate, put your plans into practice:
· Turn off gas.
· Leave garden tools attached to outside faucets to assist fire fighters if necessary.
· Drive with your headlights on so other evacuees can see you through any smoke.
· Follow the directions of law enforcement.
Protecting your home and create defendable space with landscaping:
· Remove all fuels within your defensible space.
· Introduce native vegetation.
· Space trees 10 feet apart, and prune branches that hang below 6 feet from the ground.
· Remove dead or dying trees and shrubs.
· Maintain your irrigation system.
· Clear your roof, gutters and eaves of debris.
· Trim branches so they do not extend over your roof or chimney.
· Move firewood and storage tanks 50 feet from your home.
Build or retrofit your home with non-flammable materials
· Use non-combustible roofing materials and install spark arresters in chimneys.
· Cover exterior walls with fire resistant materials like stucco, stone or brick (vinyl siding can melt).
· Use double-paned or tempered glass for exterior windows.
· Make sure your home's address can be seen from the street.
For more information on wildfire preparedness, visit:
· Just in Case Arizona
· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
· Arizona State Forestry Division
· Arizona Firewise