Few Texans believe their homes would ever be at risk from wildfires. But whether you live near a lake or a forest, suburban areas in Texas are at risk during severe fire seasons.
Officials with the Governor's Division of Emergency Management recommend home owners take the following precautions to protect their homes and yards.
• If possible in dry seasons, keep your grass well watered, with grass and weeds mowed to no more than two inches in height.
• Remove ladders, trellises or any other object that might serve as a path for fire to travel from ground level to the roof of a building, or from the ground into canopies of trees.
• Avoid planting shrubs and trees that catch fire easily, such as juniper, yaupon holly, pine, evergreen, eucalyptus and fir trees. Instead, plant hardwoods, crepe myrtle, red yucca, forsythia, China rose and Texas sage.
• Remove any tree limbs located within ten feet of your chimney and roof.
• Prune tree limbs from ground level to six feet up.
• Regularly rake up leaves, dead limbs and other dead vegetation.
• Remove branches, twigs and leaves from roof and gutter areas.
• Prune limbs of trees and shrubs that are near the ground.
• Ask power companies to clear branches away from power lines.
• Stack firewood at least 100 feet away and uphill from the house.
• Store gasoline, oily rags and other flammable materials in approved safety containers.