Wildfires: Create 'defensible spaces' to protect your home - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Protect your home from wildfires

Creating a strategic 'defensible space' around your home could be the difference between life and death, if a wildfire threatened your property.

The whole idea of defensible space is to make sure a fire can't get near your home.

There's not much you can do when a wildfire springs up, but there's a lot you can do ahead of time to keep it from your home.

Fire Marshall Will Loesche says they want to take the 'wild' out of wildfire.

"So, if you take notice of the trees that are here, the lower branches have been cut away. But then if you look on this side, you can notice that the tree branches are still coming in contact with the ground. So as the fire creeps along the desert floor, it has a tendency to get up into those bushes, so it's now starting to climb the ladder," Loesche says.

Creating defensible space doesn't mean moonscaping your land, Loesche says. He says just trim the grasses down, and trim the trees up. Do that in the space from your home to at least 30 feet out.

Loesche says if you have a larger lot, after the first 30 feet trim less of the vegetation, but go out to about 70 feet from your home.

"If you have trees that look like this, where they're actually down touching the floor of the desert, that those branches have to be limbed up at least three to five feet so that the fire will just meander through it," he says.

Fire up in the trees can spread faster, higher and hotter.

Golder Ranch's fire strategy to create defensible space has ideas anyone can use.

Loesche says, "If you don't do any of that, and the chances of a fire coming through there --which they are right now pretty high--then it's just harder for us to do something to save your home."

To learn more about being "fire wise" click here.

Copyright 2013 America Now. All rights reserved.