LOCKWOOD – Each year, wildland fires consume hundreds of homes in the wildland-urban interface- an area firefighters describe as the zone of transition between wildland and human development.
Studies show that as many as 80 percent of the homes lost to wildland fire could have been saved if their owners had followed a few simple fire-safe practices.
Lockwood Fire Capt. Keith Kober says now is a good time to prepare and educate your family.
“When things start to dry out, even the green grass is potentially ignitable because things dry out so quickly… August is typically a very high-temperature month with limited precipitation coming through so we try to be proactive as much as we can,” Kober said.
With just a few simple tips, you can make your house more fire safe. One example? Limb your trees, Kober said.
“Bringing them from a ground level, up to a level where what we refer to as ladder fuels. If there is a fire that is burning through on the grass, it’s not going to get into the trees by way of those fuels because the trees have now been limbed up and make it a little bit safer,” he said.
Other tips? Keep firewood away from the home and any type of deck to limit the potential for fire spread, and clean out your gutters to make sure they are clear of pine needles.
Kober says fire danger is always there.
“At any given moment, things could change real dramatically. And again, when the fire starts small, you have the potential in some of these areas where it depending on winds. Obviously temperature fire can grow from a very small fire to a very siginificant fire in a small amount of time,” he said.
Kober says the temperatures are rising and fire danger is increasing. He says firefighters just want to make it safe for everyone.
On Tuesday, the fire danger in the Billings area moved from moderate to high.
Reporting by Zoe Zandora for MTN News