Snow is Good for Wildfire Threat

The great thing about getting more snow this spring is it keeps the ground wet. Ever since the Ham Fire on the Gunflint Trail we’ve paid close attention to the moisture level in the spring.  It’s an especially vulnerable time in the forest before the trees have budded because they are super dry.  We’re always thankful for extra precipitation and with the addition of wildfire sprinklers and Fire Wise practices we can worry less about the threat of wildfires and more about the upcoming paddling season at Voyageur.

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     March 31, 2016

Simple steps now can protect houses from wildfires

Minnesota has over 1,200 wildfires a year, and it takes just one to destroy a home and personal property. The Department of Natural Resources recommends that homeowners who live in the woods create a defensible space around their homes.

“Removing pathways, such as dead plants, for fire to reach your home is key to protecting it from wildfire,” said Linda Gormanson, DNR wildfire prevention supervisor.

Gormanson recommends taking the following steps:

Remove any plants within 3 to 5 feet of houses and replace with decorative rock.
Store firewood at least 30 feet from house.
Remove conifers that are within 30 feet of home or make sure conifers are at least 10 feet apart and the crowns do not touch.
Prune conifers up at least 8 feet and remove any vegetation that is growing under the tree.
Remove branches that overhang or touch the house.
Embers from a wildfire can travel great distances in the wind and ignite dead vegetation on your property. To protect houses from embers, Gormanson recommends removing dead vegetation from under, around and on the structures, and keeping lawns mowed.

Visit the DNR’s Firewise in Minnesota Web page at www.mndnr.gov/firewise/livingwithfire for more information on protecting homes from wildfire.

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