Stillwater News Press

Opinion

April 4, 2014

OUR VIEW: Protect your home from wildfires

STILLWATER, Okla. — To most people, fuel is what you put into your gas tank. To firefighters, it means something altogether different. To people who make a living putting out fires, fuel is that material that feeds wildfires — and there is an abundance of it this year in the area.

Almost every day, a dispatcher announces on the newsroom scanner that a grass fire has sprung up in Stillwater or Payne County.

Responders are rushing out of firehouses across the city on a regular basis to put down fires.

Firefighters are concerned wildfires could be on the rise in the area because of the abundance of fuel to sustain them. Flammable materials that can feed a wildfire can be found everywhere in the county.

Payne County officials have considered issuing a burn ban for the area, but have not done so — yet.

Temperature, wind and lack of moisture each play a part in wildfires, but flammable debris keeps them burning. That’s why firefighters advise residents be firewise.

Fire officials have many helpful tips about the best ways to make your home and neighborhood more safe in the event of a wildfire.

Clear leaves and debris from gutters and porches, remove dead vegetation within 10 feet of your home, remove items stored under your porch, remove flammables such as wood stacks and propane tanks away from your home, trim your trees so the lowest branches are at least six feet from the ground and keep your lawn watered and cut.

For more information about protecting your home from a wildfire, visit www.firewise.org.

 

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