How to Reduce the Danger of Wildfires

Highlights of the On-Site “Defensible Space” Demonstration

On June 2, about a dozen TPA members gathered on Taywood Rd. for a demonstration of how to mitigate the danger of wildfires around our properties. The demo was led by Forest Ranger Kent Nelson. Also attending and adding their expertise were Auburn Fire Chief Robert Chase, Fire Prevention Officer David O’Connell, and EMT Director Brad Chicoine. All who attended were in agreement that we learned a lot of useful information. Here are a few highlights:

  • Make sure that your street number is clearly visible from both directions.
  • Keep your roof clear of pine needles and debris; clean out gutters regularly.
  • Create defensible space (clear area free of flammable material), as much as possible, within 30 feet of your home. Any flammable vegetation, brush piles, firewood, wood chips, etc. should be moved away from your structure.
  • Care for your lawn and keep it moist.
  • Avoid having an easy path for a fire to spread between properties, such as connecting hedges or wooden fences.
  • Trim low-hanging branches (called ladder fuels) at least 10 feet above the ground.
  • Keep fire-pits, barbecue pits, grills, etc. in proper working order and away from flammable vegetation.

We also learned the proper way to cut and stack limbs and brush. Those who applied to the AFD were eligible to have their brush piles chipped and the chips removed by the MFS and AFD on June 29. Attendees also received free work gloves, saws, and loppers.

Demonstration attendees also learned some facts about local ordinances concerning private burning and fireworks, some of which surprised us. There’s some misinformation out there! Here are a few key regulations to consider:

  • Fireworks are illegal in Auburn, including on holidays such as the Fourth of July.
  • In areas without local prohibitive ordinances, out-of-state fireworks are also prohibited.
  • Private burns are allowed by permit only. Contact the Auburn Fire Department for permitting.
  • Only clean wood may be burned. Paper, cardboard and leaves are among the prohibited items.
  • A burn must be at least 50’ from any structure and at least 25’ from any road.