Forest Fire Safety & Your Home

Wildland fires are a natural part of Western North Carolina landscapes. As many remember, the 2016 fire season was one of the worst in decades. Two fires that had a direct effect on Western North Carolina in November 2016 are the Camp Branch fire in Macon County (around Wayah Bald) and the Tellico Fire in the Nantahala National Forest. Both fires not only burned across hundreds of acres of forest land, but they also laid claim to many homes in their paths. While some believe that wildland fires are inevitable, homeowners can perform simple tasks around their homes to reduce the chances of becoming victims in a future wildland fire event.

To learn about how you can prepare for the safety of your home and family in the event of a wildland fire, join us on Monday, June 11 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Highlands Community Building (869 N 4th St., Highlands, NC 28741) for “Forest Fire Safety & Your Home”. Special speakers at this workshop include Carolyn Dawson, Area Extension Forestry Agent, Clemson University, and Jim Tate, local landscaper. A panel of natural resource representatives from local organizations will also be present to answer questions.

Firewise, a program provided by The National Fire Protection Association, teaches communities how they can better prepare their homes and landscaping around their homes in the event of a future wildland fire. Some Firewise landscaping tips include moving firewood and propane tanks away from your home during non-winter seasons, removing vegetation and leaves from around the home, keeping your gutters clean, and routine maintenance of your yard (mowing, watering, pruning, etc.). By following these simple steps, homeowners will in essence create a fire-free zone around their home. This fire-free zone is recommended to be the area about 0-5 feet from your home.

Come join in June 11th and learn more about wildfire preparedness and the Firewise Program.