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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

The high risk season for wildfires is right now

Help keep your home and property as safe as possible by following these tips

Gloria Erickson
Posted 4/9/21

REGIONAL- Spring has finally arrived; however, before spring “green up” is also when the region is at the highest risk for wildfire. Now is the time to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, …

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The high risk season for wildfires is right now

Help keep your home and property as safe as possible by following these tips

Posted

REGIONAL- Spring has finally arrived; however, before spring “green up” is also when the region is at the highest risk for wildfire. Now is the time to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and help your property become more wildfire resilient. There are many projects you can do with little investment to lower your wildfire risks.
Be ready for emergency personnel if the need arises:
• Check and clear around address and street signs. Make sure the sign is perpendicular to the road and reflective on both sides.
• Make sure your driveway is cleared of overhanging trees and branches at a minimum of 14 feet wide and 14 feet high for easier access for emergency vehicles.
Make your home more wildfire resilient:
• Screen areas below decks and porches with 1/8” wire mesh to help prevent material from accumulating underneath.
• Cover exterior attic and soffit vents with 1/8” metal wire mesh to help stop sparks from entering your home.
• Enclose eaves to help prevent embers/sparks from entering your home.
• Sweep pine needles and leaves from porches and rake from under decks, porches, play structures, etc.
• Clear any needles and leaves out of gutters and off of roofs.
• Inspect and replace shingles or roof tiles as needed. Cover ends of tiles and metal roofs with fire resistant stops to help prevent embers being sucked in during a wildfire.
• Make sure chimneys have spark arrestors.
Remove debris from around your home:
• Move woodpiles, construction materials, trash and other flammables at least 30 feet from your home or other buildings. This includes project wood under the porch and any stored propane or gas cans near the home.
• Rake and remove pine needles and leaves from three to five feet around your home and other buildings. Maintain the grass and weeds in the same perimeter.
Make your property more wildfire resilient:
• Remove lower limbs of trees up to 10 feet from forest floor that are within 30 feet of all structures to help keep future fires on the forest floor. Removing lower limbs will lower the risk of the “ladder” fuel from the forest floor getting up into the crown of the tree.
• Make sure trees are cut, brush is removed, and grass is trimmed around your propane tank. A full tank is a safer tank as we go into fire season.
• Dispose of branches, weeds, leaves, and pine needles at designated hazardous woody debris drop-off sites. Check county websites for locations and operating hours.
Preparing our homes and communities for wildfire resiliency is a shared responsibility. We all can play a role to lower our risks and build stronger community relationships.
Contact St. Louis County Firewise Coordinator Gloria Erickson at gloria@dovetailinc.org or 218-365-0878 with any questions about the Firewise program.

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