Fire Officials: Build ‘defensible space’ to limit wildfire danger

Posted at 5:57 PM, May 28, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-28 19:57:43-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Unified Fire along with state officials will be starting a program called “Ready, Set, Go” in June that will provide a guideline for homeowners to prepare for the fire season.

“The ‘Ready’ part is ready your home, defensible space. Ready your home to leave -- have your belongings put together,” says Unified Fire Capt. Dustin Dern. “Then ‘Set’ is have a plan together when we say 'evacuation is ready,' [which] is to load your vehicles with what you prepared. And then ‘Go’ is to leave in a timely manner when evacuation orders are given.”

Firefighters are encouraging homeowners to remove hazardous fuels and vegetation around their homes to minimize the risks in the event of a wildfire, for what is called creating a “defensible space.”

“Vegetation, fuel around your house needs to be cleared, mitigated. We suggest 50 feet at a minimum, 100 is best,” said Dern.

Firefighters say it is not necessary to remove all shrubs and trees on the property, but rather arrange vegetation so it is more difficult for fire to transfer from one fuel source to another.