Ensuring Firefighter Access and Your Escape During a Wildfire

If there is a wildfire in your area you may need to get out and firefighters may need to get in, so build fire safety into your road or driveway designs and make plans for evacuation and access.

First, the road. Having more than one way into and out of a residential area is good in case one road gets blocked. Roads should be at least two lanes wide, with gentle curves and with enough space at the end for …

Evacuation Preparations for Your Livestock

Photo source: Susie Heffernan

Prepare before the fire occurs by keeping the corrals and barns free of fuel (vegetation or hay) and have halters or facilities to load and remove the animals. Have an evacuation plan for livestock, including routes, transportation needs, and host site. Share your plan with your neighbors in case you are absent. Do not wait to the last minute to transport livestock as roads can become clogged and difficult to maneuver with a trailer. Make sure …

Evacuation from a Wildfire: One Farm's Experience

Smoke in a pasture.

Article by Mary Wilson, Half Creek Farm, Bickleton WA

I’ve always felt smugly prepared for whatever disaster might happen on our farm. I spent time organizing a plan in my mind that seemed pretty solid: my animals are used to being handled and all have a calm personality; I have a 3.4 ton pickup and a 16-foot stock trailer that I thought would probably hold all my goats; then I could likely move the cows and llama in the second …

Selecting Firewise Plants

Firewise Plant Characteristics

Firewise plants have a number of characteristics in common, but also can vary considerably. Below are some important points about these plants and their management.

  • No plant is fireproof. All will burn in a very intense fire.
  • Firewise plants all have one or more of these firewise characteristics:
    • Tissues contain more moisture, especially during the fire season.
    • Tissues contain low amounts of volatile oils and other readily flammable chemicals.
    • Plants provide less fuel, either by producing less

Community Evacuation Plans

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If you are interested in finding out if your community has an evacuation plan contact the local fire department, law enforcement agency, or emergency services department. They will discuss planned evacuation routes, assembly points, how to get evacuation information and tips on evacuation in your community.

Do not wait until a wildfire occurs to attempt to obtain this information as fire and emergency services will be extremely busy. If your community does not have one, meet with your fire department …

eWIN Articles on Before Fire Building Materials & Home Design

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 …

Firescaping – Landscape Design for Wildfire Defensible/Survivable Space

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 …