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FIRE PREVENTION by Robert Sawin Living in a house surrounded by nature and wildlands can be peaceful and beautiful but it can also be risky The risk of a high intensity wildland fire is rising in many wildland ecosystems and with it comes an increased risk to homes in this interface area The good news for people living in wildland settings is that you can do many things to protect your home even before a wildfire gets started Wildfires present a major threat to homes in the wildlandurban interface This is the area where wildland and residential areas meet and where each other affect them Low humidity and low rainfall increase the chances of a fire wildfires can happen anywhere in the country at any time Major wildfires blaze across the country putting towns and hundreds of woodland homes at risk if a wildfire occurs near you it may spread rapidly and become a serious problem If you are living or building on the edge of a wildland area you need to prepare for the risk of wildfire To better understand how to protect your home it is important to know how fire behaves Fire needs fuel and oxygen To a wildfire homes and other structures is a form of fuel and the wind provides plenty of oxygen The slope of the terrain is also important to a wildfires rapid spread A fire moving up a slope moves faster and has longer flames than one on level ground because hot gases rise in front of it pre-heating its path This is the way wildfire spreads The fire heats and dries fuel above it causing it to burn When a wildland fire is approaching a home it can be a threat in two different ways The first and more common way is an indirect threat When the fire front is still more than a mile away burning embers or firebrands can be carried
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