Firesmart Spring Cleaning

This year when you’re doing spring cleaning around your home, cabin, and outbuildings, look a little closer than the Pre-Fire Season Checklist we posted in March.

Here are a few suggestions:

Over the winter, did your vehicle fleet migrate to near—or even under—your structures? That includes the thirty-year-old family heirloom Skidoo that hasn’t turned a crank since the President’s name was Bush. If you “need” to keep it, drag it to a corner outside of the 30-foot ignition zone from all buildings.

Did you get tired of trudging through the snow to the firewood pile, and move it to the porch or carport? Putting it all back outside the 30-foot ignition zone from buildings before fire season is good.

Are you a hoarder? Many of us have stashes of “things” we have saved because we “might need them someday.” While this is not quite the same as the folks you have heard about who have filled their homes from floor to ceiling with newspapers, cardboard boxes of trash, or anything else, it is a form of hoarding. Look at your various collections of used tires, auto parts, and building materials, and think about whether they fill a realistic future need. If they do, take steps to remove at least the flammable items to outside the 30-foot zone of all buildings, or inside of a closed Firewise structure.

Are your outbuildings still weather-tight? Broken windows and gaps around the doors are all potential ember traps during fire season.

Do you have trees that need pruning to meet Firewise recommendations? You shouldn’t prune live limbs until fall, but spring is a good time to evaluate your trees. You can remove dead limbs anytime, but especially when you’re energized for spring cleaning.

Do you have a need for a burn pile this year? Stay tuned. Our next post will have some tips and reminders about piling and burning.