KUSA - Wildfires in Colorado can spark anytime of the year; with constantly changing weather patterns, there's no traditional season for the blazes in our state.
That can spell trouble for homeowners who live near or even in the areas that are more prone to fires.
9NEWS spoke with Einar Jensen, Community Risk Reduction Specialist at South Metro Fire Rescue, about what homeowners can do to keep their homes and dwellings safe.
What's the easiest thing I can do to keep my home safe from wildfire?
"[Make] sure your gutters are clear. If you have dead needles or dead leaves in your gutters, that’s just waiting for a heat source to cause a fire. Homeowners can clean out the dead leaves and dead needles in other places. Any place the wind causes the dead needles or dead leaves to collect around the house, that’s where the embers from a wildfire are going to land as well. The embers will land on the dead dry fuel and start a fire.
I have a garden. Are there plants I should avoid?
"Junipers, pfitzer, Mugo Pines, Pinyon pines – we consider those all little green gas cans because they are so flammable; they’re explosive," Jensen said. "When they ignite, and they ignite easily, they can produce enough heat to endanger that house that’s adjacent to them. You can use those plants, but keep them at least 30 to 50 feet away from your home."
I live in an apartment/condo. What can I do to mitigate my risk?
"Cleaning up around the property is a great idea," Jensen urges. "If you live in an apartment building, help the guys out a little bit and get some of those dead leaves out from around your area in your apartment building or condominium."
What can I do to make firefighters and law enforcement's jobs easier?
"Homeowners can make sure their address is posted so firefighters can see where the address is and can see the house," Jensen said. "They can register for their county’s reverse notification system. For example in Douglas County, we have CodeRED. You can go to your county’s emergency management or sheriff’s office website to register for those systems."
Where can I get even more tips?
Contact your local fire department or the Colorado state forest service for those other tips on how to make your home, your family and ultimately your firefighters as resistant to wildfires as possible.
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