Wildfires are a natural part of our beautiful landscape, so preparing our homes and families for wildfire is essential. Florida is currently experiencing elevated fire conditions. East Lake Fire District Firefighters would like to remind all residents, especially those in the wildland/urban interface, that creating and maintaining defensible space around their homes is critical.
Firefighters urge property owners to not delay in preparing their family and home for wildfire. Take the following actions now:
• CLEAR leaves and other vegetative debris from roofs, gutters, porches, and decks. This helps prevent embers from igniting your home.
• REMOVE dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house.
• REMOVE flammable materials (wood piles, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
• Wildfire can spread to tree tops. PRUNE trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
• KEEP your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
• Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. DISPOSE of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
If a wildfire should start, always contact the Fire District, even if you have put the fire out. Firefighters would like to ensure the fire is completely extinguished and will not reignite later in the day or overnight. We are always here to help!
For more information about the wildland/urban interface and protecting your home from wildfires, visit the Florida Forest Service website and review the Firewise Communities information at http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/For-Communities/Firewise-Communities .
To hear Chief Jamison's interview with Cox Media Group in regards to Wildfires, click the following link: http://od-cmg.streamguys1.com/tampa/tam1055/u2017051210015332875.mp3