Glenn Nader has always lived in wildfire-prone areas. He’s a fourth generation California rancher who has been through three wildfires in Lassen County – that’s in northeastern California close to Reno, Nevada. “I do understand the homeowner’s point of view. I kept putting fire prevention tasks on my to-do list. By the third wildfire near my ranch, I felt comfortable that my home could survive the fire.”
Glenn is the University of California Cooperative Extension Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor …
Photo source: Slworking2, “This house burned to the ground, while the one next door survived with just a few scorch marks.” October 28, 2007 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution.
Home survival in wildfire prone areas depends on a combination of choices regarding building materials and design decisions for the home or building combined with adequate vegetation management in the area surrounding your home (i.e., your “defensible space”). The resources listed below provide more information regarding the performance of materials and …
Article Written by:
- Glenn Nader, University of California Cooperative Extension, Yuba City, CA
- Ed Smith, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Reno, NV
- Stephen L. Quarles, Insurance Intitue for Business & Home Safety, Richburg, SC
Knowing how wildfire threatens a home can effectively reduce the wildfire risk. Wildfire can threaten a home in three ways:
- Wind-blown embers (firebrands)
- Contact by flames
- Radiant heat.
Embers are the leading cause of home loss during wildfire. Embers are burning pieces of vegetation …
When should food and medications be discarded after a wildfire? The rule of thumb is if in doubt, throw it out. When you return to your home, you should discard any food, beverages, or medications exposed to heat, smoke, or soot. The potency of some medications can be altered by exposure to heat, so check with your doctor before using any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
Canned goods that are dented, bulging, or rusted or that have been charred or exposed …
Wildfire affects streams and rivers in a multitude of ways, and the health and wealth of a stream environment are reflections of the condition of the surrounding watershed. Stream ecosystems are constantly changing and are often altered by episodic floods and droughts. Erosion is a natural process. Its effects on a stream are highly variable. Add a high-intensity wildfire, and conditions in the stream or river at the bottom of the hill can change rapidly. All of these naturally occurring …
Fire safety must be a major factor in landscape design when homes are built in wildfire-prone areas. Appropriate landscapes can make a significant contribution toward wildfire survival.
What Is Firescaping?
Firescaping is landscape design that reduces the vulnerability of your house and property to wildfire. The goal is to develop a landscape with a design and choice of plants that offer the best defensible, survivable space and enhance the property. The ideal is to surround the house with things that …