May 01, 2024

COUNTRY Financial® Shares Important Tips for Preparing Property for Wildfire Season

 As we approach wildfire season, COUNTRY Financial is sharing important tips and resources for preparing and protecting property, immediate surroundings, and the community. Recommendations include:

  1. Maintain a defensible space around homes. Remove any dead or dying weeds, leaves, cones, bark, and shrubs planted under trees. Prune all branches that overhang roofs, cut down thin trees, and remove all dead vegetation from property. If able, move trailers, RVs, and storage sheds from the property. If unable, expand defensible space considerations. For an added layer of protection, install about five feet of noncombustible materials such as gravel, pavers, brick, or concrete adjacent to your home’s foundation and deck. Do not include combustible bark or mulch.
  2. Reduce siding risks. Maintain a 6-inch ground-to-siding clearance, and consider noncombustible siding such as concrete or brick, when it’s time to replace or upgrade.
  3. Clean debris from your roof and gutters. Regularly remove debris such as leaves and twigs from roofs and gutters since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers.
  4. Inspect and trim trees. Trim trees on a regular basis to remove dead branches. recommends keeping branches 10 feet away from homes and other trees.
  5. Use a Class-A roof covering. Class-A fire rated roofing products offer the best protection for homes. Common Class-A roof coverings include clay tiles, slate, asphalt glass fiber composition shingles, and concrete tiles.
  6.  Choose the right kind of fencing. Burning fencing can generate embers and cause direct flame contact to homes. Use noncombustible fencing such as metal, stone, and concrete.
  7.  Keep embers out of eaves and vents. Use 1/8-inch mesh to cover vents, and box-in open eaves to create a soffited eave.
  8. Protect windows. Use multi-pane, tempered glass windows, and close them when a wildfire threatens.
  9. Reduce deck risks. At a minimum, use deck boards that comply with requirements for new construction in wildfire-prone areas. Remove combustibles from under decks and maintain effective defensible space around the perimeter. Keep in mind decayed wood is more combustible, so regularly check decks for rotten boards and replace them. Also limit combustible items (outdoor furniture, planters) on top of decks.
  10. Store flammables away. Highly flammable objects such as firewood and propane tanks should be regularly stored a minimum of 30 feet away from your home.

Other sound practices include maintaining clearances on driveways and access roads for fire and emergency vehicles. Make sure home addresses are clearly visible from the road. Consider having multiple garden hoses that are long enough to reach all areas of homes and other structures on property. Homeowners with a pool or well should consider installing a pump. 

From an emergency readiness standpoint, prepare family ahead of time for the possibility of having to evacuate. This includes having a plan of what to take and where to relocate. Check with hotels, motels, and campgrounds to confirm if they are open.


Media contact

David Beigie, Media Relations 

COUNTRY Financial® is a family of affiliated companies (collectively, COUNTRY) located in Bloomington, IL. Learn more about who we are.