Please Be Firewise in Florida
Posted by Benjamin Dona on Thursday, May 22nd, 2008 at 4:55pm.
With aproximately 87 wildfires encompasing over 45,000 acres currently burning in Florida, now might be a good time to consider some simple things you can do to help protect your property.
Fire researchers from the Division of Forestry say that even 30 feet of defensible space around a home can greatly decrease the probability of structure damage or loss due to a wildfire. Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson urges state residents to take action and points to three problem areas that can be corrected very inexpensively:
- Roof and Gutters: remove all dead leaves, pine needles, small twigs and palm fronds - anything that can ignite easily by falling embers.
- Sides of Your Home: remove dead vegetation and combustibles such as firewood piles.
- Area within 30 feet of Your Home: remove dead vegetation, keep grass cut and watered, remove any vines stretching from wild land to the home or into trees, and prune dead limbs from trees and bushes.
It's also important to remember that wildfires can be started by even the most common outdoor activities - cookouts and yard work. "People don't realize how many fires are started by a spark from a piece of outdoor equipment," Bronson said. With the ongoing drought throughout the state, conditions are such that both residents and visitors alike, need to be extremely cautious. Pay special attention if your working with outdoor equipment, especially outdoor barbeques and please remember not to throw any lit materials out of your car window. Not only is it illegal, it could cause devestating effects for both individuals and their property.
For more "Firewise" tips, visit the Florida Division of Forestry website at www.fl-dof.com.
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