Living With Fire Tip # 2: The gutter
Need some motivation to get out that ladder and clean out the rain gutters? How about protecting your home from wildfire?
During a wildfire, pieces of burning materials, or firebrands, can be lofted high into the air and can travel hundreds of feet to more than a mile from the actual fire. According to Ed Smith, natural resource specialist, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, "rain gutters attached to the edge of your roof are the perfect contraptions for catching those firebrands."
Smith says that if these hot embers land on the roof, they can roll down and come to rest in the rain gutters. And, if the rain gutters are filled with dried leaves, pine needles, and twigs, a fire can start and possibly ignite the roof, fascia and eaves. Rain gutters made of plastic or vinyl may even melt and drop into flower beds, igniting plants next to the house.
To keep your home safe, Smith suggests that you:
- Remove all dried leaves, pine needles or other materials from your rain gutters now. Over the winter, debris often accumulates in them.
- Keep your ladder handy and check your rain gutters throughout the fire season, cleaning them out as necessary.
To learn more about protecting your home from the threat of wildfire, visit the Living With Fire website or contact Smith at 775-782-9960 or by email. Living With Fire is an interagency program coordinated by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.