The King Fire continues to burn and people are losing homes not to many miles from where I live. This has me thinking about what information I can give you, to help prevent you from being a fire victim. There are a few basic things that you need to understand about wildland fires in order to save your home.
When they become large, they give off burning embers that are carried on the wind. On some fires, these have started small fires as far as 3 miles ahead of the main fire.
As the fire gets closer to your home regardless of the firebreak you have around it, it will probably be bombarded with hot burning embers. These are often what burns your home down. They will find the leaves you didn’t clean out of your rain gutters, the woodpile you stacked against the house or the other debris you left out. Don’t forget about the hay to feed your animals. Have a good fire resistant composition roof and keep your house well maintained on the exterior. All of these can help minimize your chances of burning.
Having a few fire fighting tools will help to extinguish these spot fires. Tools such as a good shovel, a McLeod, Grubber, Pulaski and a chainsaw will help you to put out small fires and enlarge firebreaks. A five-gallon Indian back pump in my estimation will be one of your most important tools. It is amazing how many small fires you can put out with one and there are easy to refill with water. You can even refill them from a stream or pond. Here is a link to a previous post I wrote on them. Indian Back Pumps a Simple Solution for Fire Suppression
If possible get a full set of OSHA approved fire protective gear, I have found turnouts in garage sales and flea markets. These should include gloves and a good pair of boots. I also recommend that you keep fire shelters with you in case you get into a dangerous position and become trapped. Fire Shelters can Save Your Life
If you live in a wildland area, think about joining your local volunteer fire department. This contributes to the community and gets you some good training. Learn all you can about fire fighting if you intend to try and save your home. Fires can kill you.