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Ember Aware Tip #3: Chuck the woodpile

Posted 5/14/2009

Ember Aware Tip #3 Note: This is the third in an ongoing series of tips for homeowners living in fire-prone areas. Each week, Cooperative Extension Natural Resource Specialist Ed Smith will be providing Be Ember Aware tips for homeowners who want to reduce the risk of losing their home to embers created from wildfires. Nevada has more than 250 communities that face a wildfire threat, and 68 communities are at extreme and high risk. For more information on protecting your home from wildfires, visit

Firewood stored closer than 30 feet to your house should be moved

By Ed Smith, natural resource specialist, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

(775) 782-9960

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck? If he lived in one of Nevada’s high fire hazard areas, he should chuck all of it at least 30 feet from his home.

One of the most common ember hazards homeowners create is the placement of firewood stacks next their home. During a wildfire, hundreds of burning embers could become lodged within the stack. The dry, high winds that often accompany wildfire can fan the embers and cause ignition. Once burning, the firewood stack can jeopardize just about any home, regardless of construction material.

Firewood should be stored at least 30 feet from the house, deck and other structures during fire season. If the stacks are located uphill, make sure burning logs can’t roll downhill and ignite the home. Don’t place under tree branches or adjacent to wood fences that are connected to the house. Consider placing the main wood stack at least 30 feet away from the home and bring just enough wood for the winter in closer after fire season is over. Another option is to store firewood inside the garage.

Don’t let your firewood stack be the kindling for your house fire. To learn more about protecting your home from the ember threat, visit and request a free copy of our new publication, Be Ember Aware!, download it at or contact Ed Smith.Be Ember Aware is a component of the Living With Fire program, an interagency program coordinated by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

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