Upon arrival, the wind had blown the fire from an unattended fire pit into nearby grass and woods finally spreading into the yard, and burning the front and rear of the home, causing significant damage.
Heat from the fire melted vinyl siding off the back and end of a separate garage building. Lt. Russell Tanner said firefighters wet down the building and kept the damage to a minimum. The men were also able to stop the fire from igniting a vacant house next door, and four other homes, with adjoining lots on the next street.
The fire burned stored building materials and caused severe damage to an outside storage building on the property directly behind where the fire started. The property owner was trying to save personal property near the building and was nearly overcome with smoke.
Tanner said, "During this time of year, with dry fuel and high winds, the fire department request that you call before burning, and stay with the fire until you are sure it is out -- just one ember and a little wind can destroy someone's life and dreams."
More and more people are making their homes in woodland settings in or near forests and rural areas. There, homeowners enjoy the beauty of the environment but face the very real danger of wildfire. The Red Cross reminds you to follow the steps listed below, to protect your family, home, and property:
|*||Regularly clean roof and gutters.|
|*||Use 1/2-inch mesh screen beneath porches, decks, floor areas, and the home itself. Also, screen openings to floors, roof, and attic.|
|*||Install a smoke detector on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms; test monthly and change the batteries at least once each year.|
|*||Keep a ladder that will reach the roof.|
|*||Consider installing protective shutters or heavy fire-resistant drapes.|
|*||Keep handy household items that can be used as fire tools: a rake, axe, handsaw or chainsaw, bucket, and shovel.|
|*||Design and landscape your home with wildfire safety in mind by choosing building materials and plants that resist fire. For example, hardwood trees are less flammable than pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.|
|*||Rake leaves, dead limbs, and twigs. Clear all flammable vegetation.|
|*||Remove leaves and rubbish from under structures and dispose of them properly.|
|*||Remove dead branches that extend over the roof.|
|*||Prune tree branches and shrubs within 15 feet of a stovepipe or chimney outlet.|
|*||Remove vines from the walls of the home and mow grass regularly.|