Prepare your home for a house fire.
Photo by Anthony Quintano/Flickr
Prepare in advance to help prevent your home from succumbing to flames.

All country is fire country because all ecosystems will experience drought. Be prepared when the dragon visits by fortifying your home and land with these simple steps.

1. Keep a clean house with a metal roof and gutters devoid of leaf litter or needles.

2. Have a patio made of flagstone, pavers, rock or concrete out 6 to 10 feet all around the structure.

3. If you cannot afford a patio, dig down 6 inches, put plastic sheeting down and then lay 6 inches of gravel on top of it.

4. If you want plants near your house, choose dwarf fruit trees, Alberta spruce or maples in big planters with drip plates under them. Painted 55-gallon barrels with holes punched in them with a pickaxe work as well. 5. Dig in a 2-foot-wide, meandering, circular trail 100 feet out from your circular patio. Line it with plastic and fill it with gravel so pioneer vegetation cannot take hold.

6. Manage natural fuels. Keep the largest, straight trees thinned so that the crowns are at least 25 feet apart.

7. Prune all “ladder fuels,” such as branches, off trees up 12 feet high.

8. Put in a secondary circular trail 100 feet out from the first trail.

9. Prune and thin out beyond the outer control line by about 30 feet.

10. Keep basic fire tools in a tool box near your patio as well as a backpack water pump, a self-starting propane torch, gloves and a dug-in 100- to 200-gallon water tank with a small gas water pump and 200-foot, 1-inch-wide hose.

This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE™ Winter 2016 edition. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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