Wildfires can be a common occurrence in parts of Washington State, especially this past summer. But, hopefully, you never tire of hearing about how a home was saved from wildfire because the homeowner was proactive.
A former Plum Creek Timber Company forester, Allan Andersen, had designed defensible space around his property near Thorpe. Fortunately, Allan’s home survived the horrible Taylor Bridge fire that took place on August 13 of this year because of that defensible space. The Taylor Bridge fire destroyed 60 homes in its path and scorched 23,500 acres between Cle Elum and Ellensburg.
Fire is a powerful force; however, even wild and seemingly unstoppable fires will literally bow down to a Firewise landscape, creeping along the ground and finally giving way to years of careful planning of defensible space.
Allan’s engineering skills and knowledge of fire behavior helped him plan ahead for that memorable day. He used fire-resistant roof tiles and siding, along with a green grass buffer.
After the fire was completely out, Allan took a picture of his home while standing in the ashes of his closest neighbor’s house, which, unfortunately, burned to the ground.
Defend your home from wildfire
Several steps are recommended to protect your home from wildfire:
- Trim trees and brush back from structures,
- Limb trees up to 10 feet from the ground,
- Have proper access and escape routes for firefighters and residents,
- Create fire-resistant landscaping.
Learn how you can be Firewise and protect your home.