The Almeda Fire created the impression that such fires are unstoppable, but if we all pull together as a community we can make our town dramatically safer against an Almeda Fire threat.
It is no longer a question of whether such a fire will ever be upon us, itís when. Up to 90% of fire spread is due to burning embers! Compared to the cost of an Almeda-scale fire, investing to make every Ashland home safe from windblown embers would truly be the deal of the century.
A typical Ashland street can be an effective fire break if thereís nothing wind-blown embers can ignite on the other side of the road.
|1.||Clean your roof and gutters of leaves and needles. Canít do this yourself? Ask a neighbor for help or hire someone to complete the task.|
|2.||Sweep, rake or blow wood decks clear of leaf and needle debris above and below the deck surface, and pull away bark mulch from deck structures.|
|3.||Relocate flammable material (e.g. wood, cardboard,etc..) at least 30-feet from all structures and from under elevated decks*|
*if you cannot move a woodpile 30-feet from homes and accessory buildings, place woodpiles inside an enclosed structure, or as far away from all structures as possible and cover with a fire-resistant tarp.
|1.||Cover exterior vent openings with 1/8-inch metal mesh to resist embers. This includes vents to the attic, crawlspace or basement*|
|2.||Enclose patios and decks or screen in with 1/8-inch metal mesh if you cannot clean underneath with a rake or blower. This prevents flammable materials and embers from accumulating.|
|3.||Replace fence with metal or other non-flammable material anywhere where the fence attaches to the house**|
*rolls of 1/8Ē screen is sold at hardware and big box stores, or can be ordered online. Consider buying a roll and sharing it with your neighbors!
**several stores in the Rogue Valley sell non-combustible gates that can replace wooden fence attachments against the home. Many fencing contractors can construct non-combustible alternatives as well.
|1.||Install metal flashing between wood siding and decks and consider replacing the first 1-2 deck boards closest to the home with fire-resistant products.|
|2.||Install 8-12 inches of wall flashing where wood siding intersects roofing.|
|3.||Keep your roof in good condition. Keep your eye out for warping or missing shingles and repair as needed.|
When it comes time to replace:
|1.||When replacing siding, upgrade to fire resistant materials like stucco, fiber cement, masonry, or plaster.|
|2.||New windows should have metal frames, be tempered double pane, and have metal screens.|
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