If people living in the wildland urban interface think the onus lies on firefighters to protect their house from fire, they are mistaken, said Chris Chambers, forest resource specialist of Ashland Fire and Rescue.




"There are simply too many homes at risk in any one area than firefighters and engines available," read an AFR wildfire newsletter, authored by Chambers. "The reality is that although Ashland's finest are well-trained and equipped, the possible scenarios during a wildfire include fire suppression being quickly overwhelmed by the spread of fire."




Chambers said if a home hasn't been properly prepared for a fire, firefighters "will move on to a house that is prepared. No one's home is worth of life, and protecting a home from wildfire is dangerous business."




However, there are many things homeowners can do to protect their place from being damaged by fire:




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162; Clean debris out of gutters to prevent roof fires caused by falling embers.




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162; Clear a noncombustible zone at least 5 feet around the house, rake away leaves and needles, prune plants, get rid of anything dry and flammable.




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162; Cut dry grass.




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162; Trim tree branches at least 10 feet above the roof line and move them away from houses.




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162; Trim branches on conifers to head height or a third of the tree height.




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162; Clean out spaces under decks to bare soil.




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162; Move firewood at least 30 feet from the house.




Ashland Fire and Rescue will provide a free safety analysis of Ashland homes by calling 552-2066.




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Robert Plain