The trees, wildlife and numerous lakes is what makes the northwoods a special place to enjoy and get away from the busyness of life. While enjoying the sunshine and sitting on the dock, the last thing you want is your home to be taken by a wildfire.
In 2004, the Pansey Landing Fire occurred in Burnett County consuming 71 acres of land and burned across the properties of two private land owners and county forest land. The suppression forces were able to save one structure and a red pine plantation. Alone, this fire took 35 firefighters and 22 pieces of firefighting equipment to stop the fire from spreading any further.
More recently, Burnett County faced strong straight line winds taking numerous amounts of our trees and woods along with it in 2011. Three years later, dead vegetation and debris still remains because of the devastating storm, which could be potential ignition for wildfires to harm this beautiful area more. By taking simple steps to clear around your property could make all the difference in the event of a wildfire. Make sure your home is safe by taking the time to walk around your property and clear it of any debris and dead shrubs, leaves or grass.
3-5 feet around your home could be the most damaging if surrounded with anything that could potentially ignite during a fire. Get rid of anything that can burn, including mulch, grass, plants, shrubs and choose more deciduous plants or rock mulch compared to wood mulch. Keeping your roof and gutters clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris could make all the difference as well.
Within 30 feet of your home try and remove scattered trees and keep your grass mowed while removing any dead vegetation. Make sure that the area around your propane tank is free of any dead leaves, plants and wood piles and keeping the shed and wood pile a good distance away from your home.
Evergreens are highly flammable due to high volumes of oils within the needles and bark; by keeping these trees about 100 feet away from your home and at least 10 feet apart can reduce the likelihood that fire will jump from plant to plant.
There are several low maintenance ways to keep your home and cabin safe from potential wildfires with little to no cost. By taking the necessary steps, no matter how small, will make your home and cabin safer while still enjoying the life Up North.
For more information and steps on how to protect your home and property against wildfires, go to http://firewise.org/wildfire-preparedness.aspx -Billie Ingalls