RIVER CITIES – Weeds and other foliage, better known as fuel, will be dried out and are just waiting for a fire to erupt that may kill people and/or destroy the precious homes people cherish.
There are preventive measures residents can do to help lessen the chances of their homes burning to the ground. A prime example of residents not preparing for fire season is a fire that occurred last year in Mohave County. The call went out from fire dispatch about a structure fire and fighters immediately responded. When the firefighters arrived on scene, they didn’t comprehend the complexity and magnitude of what they were facing or what they would experience. They dragged out their hoses and began extinguishing the blaze. However, unforeseen circumstances occurred when the fire spread to the six-foot-tall weeds and brush that hadn’t been cleared away from around the home.
As the fire spread, the brush in the yard erupted in flames and spread to vehicles and trailers hidden by the tall weeds. The final result of the conflagration was that the home, every structure, the trail ers and all of the vehicles were destroyed by the fire. The above incident could have been prevented or at least lessened if the resident had made a “defensible-space clearance” and utilized “fire landscaping” around their home and the other structures.
The primary goal for a defensible-space clearance and fire landscaping is for fuel reduction – limiting the amount of flammable vegetation and materials surrounding the structures. If there is an adequate amount of space cleared of vegetation from around the home or structure, then the firefighters will be able to respond to the incident and have time to extinguish the fire before it might spread.
Proper clearance of at least 30 feet from any structure dramatically increases the chance of a home surviving if a fire occurs near it. This defensible-space clearance also provides for firefighter safety when protecting homes during a fire. A good rule of thumb is the cleared area that encircles a structure – all the additions, such as wooden decks, fences and boardwalks should be cleared at least 30 feet on all sides. However, the 30-foot figure comes from the very minimum distance on flat ground that a structure can be separated from the radiant heat of large flames without igniting.
There are many suggestions as to how to keep homes and structures from catching fire and they are called defensible zones. Below are just some fire safety precautions residents should adhere to:
For more information, residents should contact their local fire departments.