Protecting communities from wildfires starts with individual owners. Here in CastleRock, this is a shared responsibility. The following are some simple and affordable steps your can take during your annual spring cleanup. These simple steps will ensure your home is more fire resistant and less of a threat to your neighbours:
1. Clean gutters to remove leaves, needles and debris. These act as fuel for wind carried embers which will ignite and set fire to the roof.
2. Move firewood and lumber piles at least 10 metres (32.9 feet) from your house.
3. Rake up leaves (especially from under your deck and stairs) and remove all dead trees and plants.
4. Trim tree branches lower than 1.8 to 3 metres (6 to 10 feet) from the ground and anything overhanging your roof.
5. Mow lawn regularly, keeping it well watered and green.
6. When landscaping, choose fire-resistant plants and shrubs (avoid juniper, coniferous, pine and spruce, as they are highly combustible). Avoid the use of bark mulch as this is like placing fire starter in your yard.
Caution: Bark Mulch and Pine Needle Mulch Bark mulch, pine needle mulches and other plant-based mulches offer many benefits to gardens. However, these mulches are susceptible to ignition from wildfire embers or cigarettes, increasing the fire threat to your home. When landscaping immediately adjacent or around 10 metres of your home, consider using gravel mulch, rock mulch, or a combination of plant mulch and decorative rock mulch to reduce the risk. And remember, fire-resistant products does not mean fireproof!