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Sunday, June 24, 2018
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Fire Danger 101
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Photo by Jim Korf
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If firefighters are unable to directly protect your home during a wildfire, having

an effective defensible space will still increase your home’s chance of survival. It is important to remember that with wildfire, there are no guarantees. Creating

a proper defensible space does not mean that your home is guaranteed to survive a wildfire, but it does significantly improve the odds.

The “home ignition zone” encompasses the house itself and everything up to 100 to 200 feet around it. Radiant heat from a severe wildfire can ignite a house from up to 100 feet away, and if there’s enough combustible material in the way, the flames themselves can quickly travel that distance. If you happen to live in a wildfire-prone area, safeguarding just your home and the five feet surrounding it leaves significant risk on the table.

The area between 30 feet and 100 feet of a home is a property’s front-line defense against a wildfire. The principle guiding your preparation in this zone should be to create a “defensible space” that can prevent flames from approaching your home, and give firefighters a safe place to combat the blaze. Colorado State Forest Service, FireWise and Rye Fire have great resources that outline the creation of a defensible space. For instance, once you remove fuel sources from the area immediately surrounding the house, the area between 30 and 100 feet out should be maintained as a “reduced fuel zone.” In this zone, plants should be spaced out, low-hanging tree branches should be pruned, and all vegetation should be watered regularly.

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including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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