POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - With the weather warming up, fire officials are hoping property owners will take steps to make sure they're ready for fire season.
Pocatello's West Bench is no stranger to wildfires. Dead juniper trees still line the hillsides near Johnny Creek and Gibson Jack from the Charlotte Fire in 2012, a constant reminder to residents in the area of the very real possibility of a wildfire.
To help avoid a disaster like that happening again, the Pocatello Fire Department is encouraging home owners in wildfire danger zones to take steps to protect their property.
“Now is the perfect time because they’re still going to have moisture in the grass and the leaves and the trees, so we really encourage people to start preparing their properties,” said Kim Stouse with PFD.
Stouse offers some tips for homeowners:
- Create a fire-resistant zone around your home that is free of leaves, debris or flammable materials. Stouse suggests starting closest to your home and working outward.
- When working on spring and summer projects, use fire-resistant materials to build, renovate or make repairs.
- Space out trees and trim branches that hang over decks and roofs to keep fire from traveling to structures. Trim low-hanging and low-lying branches that can light from a ground fire and ignite a tree. (Note - Junipers are highly combustible.)
If you have questions or want help, you can call your local fire department. The Pocatello Fire Department offers Defensible Space Assessments, where a fire official would come to your home and offer suggestions to defend your home against wildfires. Call the PFD at 208-234-6201.
“A lot of times people think we’re going to come out and tell them to get rid of all their trees. That’s not the case. Ideally you want spacing between them and limb them up, so if there ever is a fire, then it doesn’t just go from one to the next to the next,” Stouse said.
You can find more wildfire readiness tips here.