Reducing the Impact of Wildfires


In the American Southwest and California, wildfires are a common fact of life that many people live with on an annual basis as the rain levels drop and conditions become right due to drought.  For people in danger of losing their homes and property, there are ways to make sure that homes have a chance to withstand the potential fires.


For the people living here, homes in the high risk areas have a combined estimated value of $189 billion dollars according to recent reports.  This is a tremendous investment that should be protected at all costs.   With each passing year, the potential losses from wildfires rise as people move to and cities encroach on forested areas.

Wildfire victims crowd shelters as fight continues

So what are people to do to lessen the risk?  Like in any sport, the best offense is a good defense.  With the defense of your home, you want to reduce the potential fuel that a wildfire would have to burn.  In the immediate vicinity out to 50 feet, homeowners would want to remove all dead plants and leaves from the house or trees.  From 50 to 100 feet, leaves, branches, needles and other detritus removed.  Cut the grass short and space trees and shrubs a safe distance apart in order to prevent a spreading fire.

A key to landscaping that helps reduce risk is to plant trees and shrubs that retain water more than others.  These kinds of plants are more fire-resistant and withhold potential fuel sources from fires more effectively while giving the home landscape a very pleasing aesthetic value with shrubs like honeysuckle, roses, currant and sumac.  Hardwood trees like maples and poplars are good choices due to being less flammable than pines and firs.


In the construction of the home, it pays to be conscious of using non-flammable materials.  Roof tiling for example is particularly vulnerable as embers from wildfires can travel hundreds of feet to ignite a home.  To prevent this from happening, homeowners can use metal or tile shingles rather than wood.  Most composite shingles not only last for 30 years, but they also are highly flame resistant.  Simple solutions also include keeping home gutters clean and covering chimneys and exhaust with a mesh vent prevent embers from escaping.


Life in the American Southwest is a beautiful thing as it offers sights and experiences that you can find nowhere else in the world.  The region also offers unique difficulties as well, but if the proper precautions are taken, you can prevent wildfires and safeguard your home for yourself and the good of your family.




Call Water Damage Zone, Inc. today (877) 520.1923– your future bills may be a lot smaller, if you follow these simple tips.

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Water Damage Zone, Inc.
Corporate Office
15115 Califa St. Ste. C
Van Nuys, CA 91411