Presentation on theme: "“People can live compatibly with wild land fire if they are aware of and prepared for local fire conditions. The more populated and closer a community."— Presentation transcript:
“People can live compatibly with wild land fire if they are aware of and prepared for local fire conditions. The more populated and closer a community is to fire prone areas, the greater the need for a proactive approach and a community’s involvement in fire risk reduction activities.” ~ Firewise Alaska Brochure
Average # of fires per year 187 lightning caused 320 human caused Alaska generally receives somewhere between 40,000 and 100,000 lighting strikes per year. 1.7 million acres are burned statewide each year. Alaska can get wildfires as early as March and late as December. Fire caused by lightning is a natural part of Alaska’s boreal forest and tundra ecosystems. – It plays a role in maintaining the diverse mosaic of vegetation on the landscape, reduces the risk of more intense fires. – Rejuvenates habitat – Returns nutrients to the soil and enables the growth of new plants. Human caused fires are most often in close proximity to people and communities. They pose the most risk, but are preventable.
Preparing your Home and Property Cleaning your property of debris and maintaining your landscaping are important first steps to helping minimize damage and loss. Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home. Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches. Screen or box in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris Inspect roofing make sure singles are not loose or missing to prevent ember penetration. Remove flammable materials (Fire Stacks, Propane Tanks, Gas Jugs) from home and storage
Prevent – 70% of wild land fires in Alaska are human caused; therefore, preventable Prepare – Emergency supplies, food and water for each person for at least 7 days Be Aware – Remove all conifers and dry or dead vegetation from 15’ of structures – Maintain the lawn 3” or less and keep well watered – Pile firewood away from house and other structures, and covered
Before the Wildfire Create and maintain a defensible space around your home Practice your evacuation plan Out of area contact Clearly marked home address- Find alternative routes Place important documents in a fireproof box and keep in an accessible location
Evacuations Stay informed about fires in your area – Authorities may not have time for a formal evacuation notification if conditions change quickly Remember the 5 “P”s – People – Prescriptions – Pets – Photo’s – Papers- Important documents
After a Wildfire Potential Hazards Burned Trees – Tree root systems that have burned and standing dead trees can fall down, even with very little wind. Ash Pits – White ash on the ground may indicate deep pockets of hot ash where roots and ground vegetation have burned and may continue to burn below ground level Hazardous smoke – Smoldering piles may include plastics or other materials that produce toxins in the smoke. Please avoid breathing direct smoke from smoldering areas.
Keep informed of local fire information and air quality reports Keep indoor air as clean – Keep windows and doors closed
Limit indoor pollution – Don’t smoke, use candles, fireplaces, gas stoves, or vacuum. – Run air conditioner with a true HEPA filter (high efficiency particulate air filter) If you have asthma or other lung diseases, make sure you follow your doctors directions about taking your medicines and following your asthma management plan. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
How Fire Works Heat – A heat source is responsible for the initial ignition of fire, and heat is also needed to maintain the fire and permit it to spread. Heat allows fire to spread by removing the moisture from nearby fuel, warming surrounding air, and preheating the fuel in its path, enabling it to travel with greater ease. Fuel – Fuel is any kind of combustible material, and is characterized by its moisture content (how wet the fuel is), size and shape, quantity, and the arrangement in which it is spread over the landscape. The moisture content determines how easily that fuel will burn. Oxygen – Air contains about 21% oxygen, and most fires require at least 16% oxygen content to burn. Oxygen supports the chemical processes that occur during a wildland fire. When fuel burns, it reacts with oxygen from the surrounding air releasing heat and generating combustion products (i.e. gases, smoke, embers). This process is known as oxidation.
Heat, fuel and oxygen, are required for the creation and maintenance of any fire. When there is not enough heat generated to sustain the process, when the fuel is exhausted, removed, or isolated, or when oxygen supply is limited, then a side of the triangle is broken and the fire is suppressed
DO NOT build a fire at a site in hazardous, dry conditions. DO NOT build a fire if the campground, area, or event rules prohibit campfires. – FIND OUT if the campground has an existing fire ring or fire pit. If there is not an existing fire pit, and pits are allowed, look for a site that is at least fifteen feet away from tent walls, shrubs, trees or other flammable objects. Also beware of low-hanging branches overhead.
Building your Fire Pit Some campsites have unsuitable pits or may not offer pre-made pits at all. If this is the case: – Choose a spot that's downwind protected from wind gusts, and at least 15 feet from your tent and gear. – Clear a 10-foot diameter area around the site. Remove any grass, twigs, leaves and firewood. Also make sure there aren't any tree limbs or flammable objects hanging overhead. – Dig a pit in the dirt, about a foot deep. – Circle the pit with rocks.
Building your Fire Pit Before you start your campfire, you need to prepare your pit. – Fill the pit with small pieces of dry wood; never rip or cut branches from living trees. Place your unused firewood upwind and away from the fire. Keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby.
Extinguishing Your Fire Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible Pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL embers, not just the red ones – Pour until hissing sound stops
Extinguishing Your Fire Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel Stir and make sure everything is wet and they are cold to the touch If you do not have water, use dirt. – Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool. Remember: do NOT bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire. REMEMBER: If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave!
Don't Burn Dangerous Things! Never burn aerosol cans or pressurized containers. They may explode. Never put glass in the fire pit. – Glass does not melt away, it only heats up and shatters. Broken slivers of glass are dangerous. Aluminum cans do not burn. – In fact, the aluminum only breaks down into smaller pieces. Inhaling aluminum dust can be harmful to your lungs. Pack it in, Pack it out. – Be sure to pack out your trash. It is your responsibility to pack out everything that you packed in
LAST BUT NOT LEAST Charcoal and ash from woodstoves/fireplaces also can start wildfires. – When disposing of briquettes and ash outside, drown the charcoal and ash with lots of water; stir them, and soak again. Be sure they are out cold! Sparks from lawnmowers and power equipment DO start wildfires. – Be careful on hot, dry days, and be sure to get your equipment checked regularly.