Wildland-urban interface fires tend to be more damaging than urban structural fires, and behave differently from structural fires. The wildland-urban interface is the area where homes and other human development meet or intermingle with undeveloped forests, grasslands, or other natural areas.
People who live in these areas often forget or disregard the wildland fire cycles and dangers. Homes and other structures are built and maintained in a manner that leaves them and their occupants vulnerable. Thus, fire becomes a significant threat to both humans and natural resources.
Charcoal briquettes and ash from woodstoves/fireplaces also can start wildfires. When disposing of briquettes and ash outside, drown the charcoal and ash with lots of water; stir them, and soak again. Be sure they are out cold!
Sparks from lawnmowers and power equipment DO start wildfires. Be careful on hot, dry days, and be sure to get your equipment checked regularly.
Proper car etiquette: Be sure chains and other metal parts aren't dragging from your vehicle - they throw sparks. Check your tire pressure - driving on an exposed wheel rim can cause sparks. Be careful driving through or parking on dry grass. Hot exhaust pipes can start the grass on fire. Never let your brake pads wear too thin; metal on metal makes sparks.
If you are going to smoke and it is permitted outdoors, safe practices require at least a 3-foot clearing around the smoker. Grind out your cigarette, cigar, or pipe tobacco in the dirt. Never grind it on a stump or log. Never throw it away into the brush or leaves. It is unsafe to smoke while walking or riding a horse or trail bike because you never know where the ash will land. Use your ashtray while in your car.
Creating a 30 foot zone of fire-resistant space around your home will help prevent fires from starting near or spreading to your home. In addition, consider using fire resistant plants and landscaping that may help to protect your house from a wildfire. For more tips on how to better protect your home visit http://www.firewise.org.
Approximate number of acres burned in the U.S. so far this year based on historical statistics.
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