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According to the USDA Forest Service, historic fire data show that wildfires are not only getting larger; they also are becoming more intense. As populations increasingly move from metropolitan areas into the outlying fringes bordered by woodlands, grass and brush, this has significant property and life safety implications for households, farms, ranches and businesses. This decentralization into natural settings has created a landscape known as the wildland/urban interface (WUI). The WUI is defined as “the area where structures and other human development meet with undeveloped wildland.”
For those who live or work in the WUI, advance planning and taking safety precautions are critical in helping to reduce wildland fire property loss and injury. To reduce the risk, considerations should be given to the fire resistance of building structures, the topography of property and the nature of and proximity to nearby brush, trees and vegetation. Safety considerations include, but are not limited to:
Keep outside storage of flammable liquids, gases, and hazardous materials at least 100 feet from the buildings. Preferably, maintain them within a fire rated safety storage locker.
Install spark arrestors on chimneys.
Keep fuel-powered pumps fueled. Test periodically.
Maintain building accessibility for fire department equipment.
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