U.S. News came up with a list of green city destinations drawn from their list of more than 1,000 Best Places to live. However, recent events like the Waldo Canyon Fire have proven that living with ‘green’ can come at a price and it was a rude wake up call: If you are not prepared, your home is more likely to go up in flames in case of a wildfire.
Luckily, Colorado Springs fire prevention had the foresight already by the year 2000 that all our preserves, parks and open spaces may cause a danger to our community if not mitigated properly. A large grant was secured for this actively managed green space project which also includes homeowner education and a ‘chipping program’.
Roll up your sleeves and start protecting your home. Here are 10 big ones as they are suggested by the Colorado Springs Wildfire Mitigation:
1. Create a defensible space around your house.
A defensible space is an area around a structure where fuels (such as stacked firewood) and vegetation are managed by treating, clearing or reducing it to slow the spread of wildfire toward the structure.
2. Keep rain gutters clear of all leaves and pine needles
3. Do not use the area on or under your decks for storage. This increases the amount of burn material (fuel) and creates an entry for fire to your home.
4.Rake up pine needles & leaves.
5. Plant fire resistant landscaping
6. Keep grasses at a maximum length of 4 inches.
7. Incorporate landscape designs to break up fuel continuity (paths, rock wall, gravel mulch).
8. Keep your address clearly marked and visible from both directions of traffic.
9. Prune lower branches. Imagine that anything that burns creates a flame 1.5 to 3 times its height – this is called a fuel ladder and something you DON’T want. Removing these ladders fuels will help keep the fire from getting into crowns of trees. Cut dead or distressed vegetation.
10. Install class A roofing and fire safe siding.