I woke up yesterday morning and the skies are grey, but not from clouds and the potential of rain. No, the skies are grey because south of me the world is on fire.
Wildfires are something I have never had to deal with in Georgia there was plenty of rain every year. In fact, this wasn’t even a factor I had considered when I was searching for land in this area. I probably should have known more about the potential risks of buying land in this area as should anyone looking for ranches for sale in Colderado, or where they are thinking of moving to.
Thankfully the Grassy Ridge fire, the closest one south of me, has been contained. But y’all it came within 2 1/2 miles of the city down there. A city I have been through multiple times, a city where I know people, a city that had to be evacuated.
Waking up to a smoke filled sky hit me hard today. I am completely unprepared for a fire, yet where I live it is a very real possibility that I will have to deal with one and I need a plan for my homestead. He said the same, and he even told me that he was going to hire a Fire Guard NYC (or another local company) to come and protect his home from both fire and intruders. And y’all the thought of a fire here is scary!
One of the neighbors came over the other day asking if we could put a gate between our pastures for fire control, so that if either one of us ever saw a fire starting on the others land we could easily get to it. He said a few years ago he stopped 7-8 small fires. I told him ‘Hell yes, we can put up as many damn gates as you want’ because I really don’t want to have to deal with a fire.
So my day wase spent learning and researching what to do in case of a wildfire and to begin implementing safety measures and write up an emergency plan.
How to Prepare Your Homestead for Wildfire
- This is the most important. Keep up with yard maintenance, don’t let your grass, or weeds, or brush grow up. This provides fuel for the fire so make sure you keep your yard around buildings maintained.
- Emergency water supply. This one is huge for those of us in rural areas and on wells. My well cannot handle the amount of water that is needed to stop a fire and the volunteer fire department may not have trucks equipped to handle the fire. They should be as equipped as possible with fire reporting software installed to make us communicate with them in an easier manner, but that doesn’t mean they have everything to hand. We are currently going to get some small barrels to store water in. But it is recommended to have a 2500 gallon tank of emergency water. We will save up for the tank, maybe even talk with neighbors and purchase a community tank that can be used. Once the tank is purchased we’ll add a couple hundred gallons of water to it everyday until it is full. Then if there is ever a fire the water can be used.
- Communicate with neighbors. We are putting gates between our pastures and any neighbors pastures bordering ours so that pastures can easily be accessed in case of a fire.
- Make sure your animals are easily identified in case you must leave them behind or let them loose from the pasture. Use ear tags, brands, if you have leave animals behind who aren’t marked paint your phone number on their sides.
- Have an evacuation plan ready for your family and any smaller animals.
- If building or remodeling your homestead choose building materials that are fire-retardant and get rid of materials that are highly combustable. You can also consider getting strong Fire Protection treatments for your homes and barns that can help resist fires thus providing an extra layer of protection.
- Create natural fire barriers. Bare dirt, rock, and roads are all great natural fire barriers.
Firesafe Montana is a great resource for anyone with information on how to prepare your homestead for wildfire. http://firesafemt.org/
What are your plans to prepare your homestead for wildfire?