Be wildfire and brushfire safe by preparing your home with these UFA tips

Be wildfire and brushfire safe by preparing your home with these UFA tips

A partnership with the state of Utah has allowed firefighters to come into unoccupied areas to clean up and lower fire hazards.
"All of these homes aren't threatened initially by the fire itself but by the embers in the smoke and heat that comes off of that," said Captain Riley Pilgrim.
DRAPER (ABC 4 Utah) -- Firefighters will begin cleaning up SunCrest's overgrown brush on Monday.

A partnership with the state of Utah has allowed firefighters to come into unoccupied areas to clean up and lower fire hazards. Properties usually take 1-2 days to clean up.

Nearly 2 dozen firefighters not only cut dead trees down, they limbed them up, meaning they cut the limbs up to 6 feet.

"It really can't get up in the tree tops unless you have a lot of embers, a lot of wind and most of it will hopefully stay on the ground where we can fight it and continue to be safe," said Unified Fire Authority Captain Riley Pilgrim.

UFA is going to homeowners to address fire concerns on the mountain edge.

"It helps us as firefighters to know which properties have a lot of work done and we can put people," said Cpt. Pilgrim. "Some of those we can leave alone because we know they will be okay and they stand a pretty good chance of survival."

The first thing a firefighter will do is look at the type of house you have. Is it brick, stucco or wood? Depending on the type of structure will allow firefighters to determine how to battle the fire around your home.

They will also look at what type of roof you have.

"We look at two things. We look at how much material can be on the roof and rain gutters," Cpt. Pilgrim added.

Keeping your roof and gutters clean is essential in wildfires. When looking at windows, plastic blinds won't help in a fire.

"The wood blinds are a little more durable. It will resist the heat a lot better than fabric or a light weight curtain," said the Captain.

He added, "if you have a vent on the back of your home, just make sure those are enclosed. You want at least 3/16th of an inch or smaller. Make sure you have good air flow but keep those tiny little embers out."

Firefighters ask for at least 30 feet of clear area of vegetation around your home.

If vegetation is a little too close and all the brush is close to the home, they may pass over it because of the dangers around the home.

Watering your lawn on sprinkler days will also save your home. Firefighters say a well manicured lawn will slow down fires and keep them low when burning.

Before a fire happens, make sure to move firewood to an open area. It may be a good idea to keep it next to your home during the winter but in the summer it can become deadly.

If your home is on a slope be aware that fire moves faster on hillsides especially if it is windy.

"All of these homes aren't threatened initially by the fire itself but by the embers in the smoke and heat that comes off of that," said Captain Pilgrim.

With temperatures reaching in excess of 90°, things are drying out going from green to brown.

If you would like the Unified Fire Authority to come to your home and address your fire concerns call 801.743.7200 or email them at firewise@ufa-slco.org.

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