Yes, we have been surround by fires in New Mexico and Arizona lately. And the winds have whipped our homes, and the forest that surrounds us, into a frenzy.
During the Spring Fire of 2018, neighbors we all know, lost everything, their homes, their belongings and all their keepsakes. I can only fathom how difficult that was. A lifetime of possessions, gone in a matter of minutes.
Good news is, there are basic common sense things everyone can do to protect out wildlife, our homes, and our beautiful landscapes.
For starters, DON’T SMOKE ON THE TRAIL! And if you must, take that cigarette butt with you. Don’t like the smell of that nasty butt in your pocket, well, neither do the rest of us. But if you smoke it, put it out and take it with you. Don’t leave it on the trail for the rest of us. The smallest ember can destroy acres and acres of forest land.
Especially now, throwing your lit cigarettes out the window when you are driving is a horrible idea. Everything is dry and brittle and it doesn’t take much to create a disaster. And with wind gusts of 55 mph it’s not hard to figure out that could turn into disaster within a matter of seconds.
Before you go, take time to educate yourself about the simple dangers of starting a campfire, lighting a match, etc. etc. In some years, we’ve had a total burn ban, so starting that campfire to cook your dinner might not be allowed, depending on the current burn ban.
Lot of us burn a fire in our fireplace, even in the summertime. But, what do you do with your ashes. Many times, coals are still hot when we throw them in the trash? Just last summer, an AirBnB resident in one of the rentals in my neighborhood, put their fireplace ashes, and trash in a plastic trash bag and set it outside where the dogs wouldn’t get into it. Another neighbor saw a spark and within minutes, the fire was flaring up the tree next to the trash bag. Fortunately a water hose was nearby and the neighbor was able to put out the fire on their own. But, what if they had gone to bed and the fire raged while neighbors were sleeping?
The other idea is fire mitigation. It is a way of ensuring trees and shrubs are not too close together as to create fuel for forest fires. When it comes to residential fire mitigation, homeowners tend to put it off because they either don’t understand the benefits of it or they feel they don’t have the finances to afford it. Look for more information on how fire mitigation can protect your home, property, and investments, as well as, grants and funding resources to help any homeowner with the financial side of things.
Find out more information here: http://lavetafire.org/