A defensible space is crucial to protect your house from a wildfire, and to give it a chance to survive. Here are some steps that can be taken to keep a defensible space around your house:

1. Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs. Remove leaves and rubbish from understructures and remove vines from the walls of the home. Clear all flammable vegetation.

2. Thin a 15-foot space between tree crowns, and remove limbs within 15 feet of the ground.

3. Remove dead branches that extend over the roof.

4. Prune tree branches and shrubs within 15 feet of a stovepipe or chimney outlet.

5. Ask the power company to clear branches from powerlines.

6. Mow grass regularly.

7. Clear a 10-foot area around propane tanks and the barbecue. Place a screen over the grill - use nonflammable material with mesh no coarser than one-quarter inch.

8. Regularly dispose of newspapers and rubbish at an approved site. Follow local burning regulations.

9. Place stove, fireplace and grill ashes in a metal bucket, soak in water for 2 days; then bury the cold ashes in mineral soil.

10. Store gasoline, oily rags and other flammable materials in approved safety cans. Place cans in a safe location away from the base of buildings.

11. Stack firewood at least 100 feet away and uphill from your home. Clear combustible material within 20 feet.

12. Review your homeowner's insurance policy and also prepare/update a list of your home's contents.

Information fromĀ Washington State Department of Health.

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