'Extended zone' can interrupt blaze's path of destruction
This week the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservaition District focuses on wildfire preparedness activities at the outer edges of your property. This area, 30-100 feet from your home is called the Extended Zone. The goal is to interrupt the fire's path and keep flames smaller and on the ground. These recommendations come from the National Fire Protection Association.
Gather your friends and family for one last weekend of outdoor wildfire work. It will be rewarding to feel like you have taken steps to protect your property for the upcoming wildfire season. Here are this weekend's tasks:
• Dispose of heavy accumulations of ground litter or debris.
• Remove dead plants and trees, remember if it is brown, cut it down!
• Remove small conifers growing between mature trees.
• Remove vegetation adjacent to or touching storage sheds or other outbuildings within this area.
• Trees 30-60 feet from your home should have at least 12 feet between the canopy tops.
• Trees 60-100 feet from your home should have at least 6 feet between the canopy tops.
These distances are based on the National Fire Protection Association's Standard for Reducing Structure Ignition Hazards from Wildfire. However, the spacing needed to reduce/prevent crown fire potential could be significantly greater due to slope, species of trees and other site-specific conditions. Check with your local forestry professional to get advice on what is appropriate for your property.
As before, be careful not to create a wildfire due to sparks from a chain saw or other equipment. Please inspect your vehicle or trailer to make sure you do not drag any chains or other metal pieces that may cause sparks. Also, be careful not to park a vehicle with a hot catalytic converter/exhaust system where dry grasses or weeds will touch these parts and catch on fire.
Lastly, be sure to check with Clackamas Fire or the Oregon Department of Forestry for current information on burning.
You may find all three-weekend lists of tasks on our Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District website at conservationdistrict.org. Stay safe out there!
Lisa Kilders is the education and outreach program manager for the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District.
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