FLORENCE – Spring rains contribute to the growth of brush and weeds in our yards and in the open desert. Higher temperatures will dry the weeds, tumbleweeds and desert brush and what was formerly green and beautiful becomes fuel for fierce wildfires. By becoming Firewise,* you can protect your home and your community.
Firewise is group of principles that you can use to create “defensible space” around your home. Defensible space means that you have a 30 foot perimeter of space around your home that is lean, clean and green. Lean means you prune back shrubs and tree branches within 15 feet of any structures. Clean means you clean out dead plant material from around your home. Green means you have planted fire-resistant vegetation and are keeping it healthy and green.
Also, make sure your home is properly marked for emergency access by having an entryway that is clear from any flammable material. Most of all, have a plan in case you need to evacuate due to fire.
Before you are confronted with an emergency, it’s a good idea to have the following emergency plans in place. Be sure to take into consideration any specific family health issues as well as the needs of family members who may suffer from disabilities or medical conditions.
- Post your local fire and police station numbers by your home phone and program them into your cell phone.
- Decide where you will go in case of a fire and plan how you will get there.
- Plan for your pets and their safety also.
- In case of fire, have tools available such as a shovel, rake, axe, handsaw, chainsaw and a 2 gallon bucket. Also make sure you have:
- Flashlights and extra batteries.
- First aid kit.
- Dust mask to help filter air.
- Wrenches or pliers to turn off utilities.
- Battery or hand-crank radio with extra batteries.
- Three day supply of non-perishable food.
- Local maps.
To learn how residents of the Pinal County community of Oracle worked to make their town Firewise, view the video on Pinal County’s YouTube channel at http://goo.gl/H1gF7
. Learn more at www.ready.gov
*Firewise Communities is a program of the National Fire Protection Association and is sponsored by the US Department of the Interior, National Association of State Foresters and USDA Forest Service. Learn more at www.firewise.org