Home Ignition Zones and Wildfires
Last year was a devastating year for wildfires as it destroyed thousands of homes of the animals that inhabit the forest and the homes of celebrities that overlook such beauty, alike. As a growing number of people living in these at-risk areas, more than 25,000 structures were destroyed, including 18,137 residences and 229 commercial structures in 2018 alone. California accounted for the highest number of structures lost in one state due to the number of significant fires, including the Mendocino Complex, Carr, Camp and Woolsey fires.
According to National Fire Protection Association, home destruction vs. home survival in wildfires point to embers and small flames as the main way that the majority of homes ignite in wildfires.Embers are burning pieces of airborne wood and/or vegetation that can be carried more than a mile through the wind can cause spot fires and ignite homes, debris and other objects.
There are methods for homeowners to prepare their homes to withstand ember attacks and minimize the likelihood of flames or surface fire touching the home or any attachments. Experiments, models and post-fire studies have shown homes ignite due to the condition of the home and everything around it, up to 200’ from the foundation. This is called the Home Ignition Zone (HIZ). Within these three zones, Immediate Zone, Intermediate Zone, and Extended Zone, you the homeowner have the expectation to remove dead plant and tree materials, keep grass mowed to a height of 4”, clean roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris and pine needles to name just a few! For more information please go to: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Wildfire/Firewise-USA/Online-learning-opportunities/Online-courses