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Rural Property Forest Fire Prevention & Protection Tips

Jul 28, 2023 - By Hayden Outdoors

The Threat of Forest Fires Is a Very Real One for Rural Property Owners.


Whether it’s timberland, farmland, grassland or a cabin in the woods, protecting your property from the ravages of an out-of-control blaze is essential. The team at Hayden Outdoors represents land purchases across the country – many of which are in the forest, country or grassland areas. Our expert team will suggest fire prevention strategies, and use our experiences to communicate the best methods of keeping your buildings and livestock safe. 

 

Tips to Help Protect Your Rural Property and Home from Wildland Forest Fires

 

Make Sure You Have Adequate Fire Insurance Coverage on Your Home and Other Buildings on Your Property.

Regularly review this policy to make sure it covers all potential risks associated with wildfires. Take a moment to review this policy with an agent – ensuring that all the necessary coverages are in place to safeguard you from the potential risks that wildfires present.

Hayden Outdoors’ Evan Anderson offers insurance programs for landowners throughout the country, as a service to our clients. “Fire insurance can offer much more than coverage on buildings. We have policies through providers across the country that protect your investments beyond homes and personal property, including loss of income, loss of feed for livestock and loss of livestock itself.” Hayden Outdoors offers a full line of insurance for rural landowners, including fire protection, crop insurance, drought insurance and more.

 

Clear Away Dead Leaves, Limbs and Brush That May Accumulate Near Your Home or Other Structures on The Property.

This will reduce the amount of fuel available to a fire should it reach your property. Also consider cutting down or clearing away trees or lower limbs from within 50 feet of your primary home on the property.

Christopher Licata, a Hayden Outdoors agent and forester, sites some pretty interesting statistics on fire control.The Washington State DNR studies show that as much as 80 percent of homes lost to wildland fire may have been saved if brush around the homes were cleared and defensible space created around structures,” says Licata. California remains one of the most fire ridden states in the country. In a 2022 post-fire analysis by CALFIRE, homes with an effective D-Space had a 6 times better chance of remaining intact.” Landowners need to put in the effort now to protect their investments in the future.

 

 

Create a Buffer Zone Around the Perimeter of Your Home and Property  Improvements

 

Start by removing flammable vegetation and trees and replacing them with fire-resistant landscaping features such as mulch or stone pathways, gravel beds, or rock walls. Colorado State University’s Forest Service division has a nice diagram above called the “Home Ignition Zone” to show the effective range of fire control in relation to your home. Defensible Zones are broken into three zones in relation to how far the fuel resides near your home.

Licata coaches landowners when buying and maintaining their property in forested areas. It is important to think of your defensible space efforts in annual terms. The initial treatment is just that and keeping your property safe will be an ongoing project. You can do a lot of the work yourself. It is a great chance to get outdoors with your family, working on and learning about your property. You would be spending time together while protecting your home, so it is a win-win situation.”

 

Clear a Buffer Zone Along Your Property Boundary

Keep this path disced and clear of weeds throughout the spring thru the fall. Work with your neighbors to cooperate on fire mitigation efforts so that you are all working together to reduce risk.

 

Install Fire Resistant Roofing Material on Buildings That May be At-Risk From Burning Embers in a Wildfire.

This will give added protection against flying sparks and ash that can ignite nearby structures even when there is no direct flame contact.

 

Make Sure You Have Adequate Water Sources for Fighting Fires

Consider your property’s accessible water sources including nearby reservoirs filled with non-potable water like rainwater and large tanks that can store thousands of gallons of water. Wells on site, rivers or creeks onsite could also be used with a pump. Additionally, there are options for on-site water sources such as this ranch fire control tank!

 


Install a Sprinkler System Around Your Home and Other Structures

You can install a system that will automatically turn on in the event of a fire to help protect against flames, smoke, and ash. Research has shown sprinkler systems to be effective at structure protection during wildfire passage (Walksinshaw and Ault 2009).

Some landowners that live in the mountains place sprinklers around their home that tie into a main well or water source with a pump for emergency use. Ranchers often have trailers with water tanks and hose ready to drive to spot fires to assist in small fires. 

 

Have a Plan for Evacuating People & Animals From Your Property

Having an emergency plan can help save lives or a property if a wildfire occurs. Make sure everyone is familiar with the plan and designate an evacuation route away from any potential danger should you need to leave quickly. Stock trailers should always be empty and ready to roll in case animals need to be transported quickly.

 

Always Have Your Volunteer Fire Department Contact Info Accessible

Keep your local station’s phone number saved on your cell phone, posted in your home or barns in case you spot a fire nearby. Consult your local rural fire department on their suggestions to protect your property. Many times they will come out to tour your property and give you tips on how to reduce the risk associated with rural fires.

 

Install a Trail Camera, or Game Camera, with Cellular Technology.

These wireless tools offer three main benefits to landowners. Security, game management and risk detection. With solar battery supply and cellular technology, you can have videos and photos sent to your phone from your property instantly using these motion-sensored cameras. Hayden Outdoors agents usually install trail cameras on their listings for security of showings and for wildlife surveys. But having one for yourself can really provide many benefits. Pick up a Reveal Camera from our online store to protect your property today!

By following these tips, you can take proactive steps to ensure that your rural property or home are as safe as possible from the threat of forest fires. Remember, it’s always better to be prepared than sorry when it comes to protecting what matters most – your safety and your home!