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Living wth fire tip #20 - Maintain your defensible space

Posted 8/24/2007

Maintaining a defensible space is an ongoing activity. Our plants have grown all summer, and the winds have picked up, blowing leaves and debris into rain gutters and under decks. This is an ideal time to check your property for fire hazards and do some maintenance before winter arrives. Make this a part of your end-of-summer routine to keep your defensible space in good order:

  • Check your rain gutters and roof and clean out any pine needles, leaves or other debris.
  • Clear out the dead brush and leaves that have gathered under trees and shrubs.
  • Mow down any dried grasses or weeds, but have water handy in case a fire is accidentally started.
  • Remove any low-growing tree branches that could serve as ladder fuels.
  • Clean out debris that may have accumulated under your deck, or in between the deck boards.
  • Check for and remove debris from around your woodpile, and be sure to store your wood for the winter at least 30 feet from the house.

To learn more about protecting your home from the threat of wildfire, visit www.livingwithfire.info or contact Ed Smith, natural resources specialist, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, (775) 782-9960 or smithe@unce.unr.edu . Living With Fire is an interagency program coordinated by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

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