The Importance of Defensible Space
Our hillsides, while beautiful, are an ideal environment for a devastating wildland fire. With the onset of summer months comes the drying and curing of our lands. As temperatures peak, humidity drops and the summer winds blow, the potential for wildland fires increase. Despite the efforts of the fire services, many homes are lost each year due to wildland and wildland urban interface fires. It is imperative that you prepare now to protect your home from such occurrences.
Defensible Space and Wildland Fire Resources:
San Mateo County's Fire Safe Council, providing information and resources for homeowners, residents, businesses, throught a public private partnership with the mission of reducing the risk of wildfires.
An excellent website created by CalFire. The website includes online guides and checklists to help you prepare your property, emergency supplies and family in the event of a wildland fire.
Woodside Fire Protection District provides neighborhoods with a convenient way to report potentially hazardous conditions.
The Importance of Roadway Clearance
We operate specialized fire apparatus that helps us navigate the narrow streets and hills of our community. Even with our state-of-the-art fire engines, we depend on roadways clear of obstructions and overgrown vegetation to access your neighborhood safely and quickly during emergencies. Cooperation and involvement from homeowners in each hillside neighborhood is critical to prevent obstructions, like illegally parked cars and overgrown vegetation, that impede our access and your safe escape in the event of a wildfire. Your survival during a fast spreading wildfire may depend on vegetation clearance work finished months earlier.
How Houses Catch Fire
Wildfires spread by a combination of a moving fire front and airborne burning and glowing embers. Building loss during wildfires occurs as a result of some part of the building igniting from one or more of the three basic wildfire exposures, which include 1) embers (also called firebrands), 2) radiant heat, and 3) direct flame contact. Recent research has shown that a majorit of homes destroyed by wildfire ignite from tiny embers, often carried by winds well in advance of the main fire.
Ready, Set, Go
- Ready – Be ready, be Firewise. Take personal responsibility and prepare long before the threat of a wildland fire so your home is ready in case of a fire. Create defensible space by clearing brush away from your home. Use fire-resistant landscaping and harden your home with fire-safe construction measures. Assemble emergency supplies and belongings in a safe place. Plan escape routes and make sure all those residing within the home know the plan of action.
- Set – Situational awareness. Pack your emergency items. Stay aware of the latest news and information on the fire from local media, your local fire department and public safety.
- Go – Act early! Follow your personal wildland fire action plan. Doing so will not only support your safety,
- but will allow firefighters to best maneuver resources to combat the fire.
Create a landscape that will keep fire away from your house.
Identify and remove vegetation hazards on your property.
How fire resistant building materials will fortify your home against an encroaching wildfire.
Develop a strategy to protect your neighborhood from the next wildfire.