For Immediate Release
May 3, 2016
Contact: Sue Butler
Life Safety Education Specialist
Fire Marshals Office
Fayetteville Fire Department
Wildfire Season: Critical Information for Residents to Prepare Homes and Reduce Risks
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Fayetteville Fire Marshal’s Office is encouraging residents to prepare their homes for the impending wildfire season. This Saturday, May 7, 2016 is National Preparedness Day and the Fire Marshal’s Office will be at the Fayetteville Farmers Market helping people learn how to provide a FireWise yard. See the tools that will help with the job of provide a defensible space between your home and the wooded areas. Preparedness Day also includes preparing for a disaster – learn how to make your own emergency disaster kit. Two kits will be given away. Where and when is this all happening?
When: Saturday, May 7 - 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Fayetteville Farmer’s Market
Corner of Center St. and Block Ave.
(Look for the big red fire truck and the FireWise table)
Why: National trends show that wildfire risk and the size of many wildfires are growing. Due to increasing wildland fire activity over the past decade, Fayetteville Fire Marshal’s Office continues to educate residents and communities about what they can do to prepare before a wildfire strikes their area. The City of Fayetteville is a FireWise Community and has been for over 10 years. Wildfires DO NOT have to burn everything in their paths.
Tips for Residents:
• Obey outdoor burning bans. Don’t burn trash or debris when conditions are dry or windy. Unsafe burning of leaves, brush, household trash and other debris is a main cause of wildfires.
• If camping or hunting, check local restrictions on campfires. Use an approved gas stove as an alternative for heating and cooking. If charcoal grills are permitted, use them only over fire proof surfaces such as asphalt or bare mineral soil.
• Dispose of smoking materials properly. Extinguish them in an ashtray. Don’t throw them out your window.
• Avoid parking and idling in dry grass. Catalytic converters can get hot enough to ignite grass.
• Keep water available when using welding equipment or cutting torches around grass and brush. A five-gallon bucket of water with a tote sack in it could prove valuable if sparks or hot pieces of metal catch nearby grass on fire.
• Avoid setting hot chainsaws or other gas-powered equipment in dry grass, which could ignite after coming into contact with hot mufflers.
How Everyone Can Prepare for Wildfire:
• Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
• Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire. If it is brown cut it down to reduce fire intensity.
• Remove fuel within 3-5 feet of your home’s foundation and out buildings including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
• Remove dead vegetation surrounding your home, within the 30-100 foot area.
• Wildfire can spread to tree tops. If you have large trees on your property, prune so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet high.
• Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
• When planting, choose slow-growing, carefully placed shrubs and trees so the area can be more easily maintained.
• Landscape with native and less-flammable plants. Your state forestry agency or county extension office can provide plant information.