Create defensible space around your home as we go into fire seas - Tucson News Now

Create defensible space around your home as we go into fire season

This photo represents defensible space, with the pallet as the home and straw is burnable material around the home. (Source: Tucson News Now) This photo represents defensible space, with the pallet as the home and straw is burnable material around the home. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Take a look around your home.

If you have heavy vegetation close to your house or a lot of flammable things in the yard, it might be time to clean it all up.

There's a  lesson to be learned from the blaze that destroyed four homes in Bisbee this week, according to firefighters.

Those safety precautions that keep houses from burning during large wildfires also can protect homes in the middle of Tucson.

Firefighters want us to create defensible space between our houses and the vegetation around our houses.

It can mean the difference between firefighters being able to save our homes or not.

Northwest Fire Captain Brian Keeley helped us see how big a deal defensible space is.

He set up a pile of pallets surrounded by straw representing a house that has an overgrown yard. Another pile of pallets was a house surrounded by straw, but separated from that straw by several feet. That area is the defensible space between the house and vegetation around it.

Captain Keeley set fire to the straw at each of the "houses."

It didn't take long for the fire to spread from the straw to the pallets that had no defensible space. Very soon the pallets were reduced to black ash,while the pallets that had a few feet between them and the blazing straw were fine.

Keeley pointed to the smoldering debris that had been pallets.

"If this was an urban interface area, because the vegetation was right up against the house, this house would be a total loss," he said.

Keeley described the intact pallets.

"This would represent the homeowner who has cleared space in between their home and where the vegetation is and kind of taken away that fuel source for the fire to be able to spread," Keeley said. "There's never a guarantee in anything. This is just your best chance at saving your home."

Keeley said a minimum of 10 to 15 feet between the vegetation and your house should be enough to give firefighters the best chance to save your home.

He said it doesn't have to be dirt.  It can be rock or pavers or anything else that won't burn and spread fire from the plants to your home.

He said it doesn't matter if you're in the country or right in the middle of the city, the same rules apply.

MOBILE USERS: Download our app on your Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Instrument repair programs keep TUSD music alive, save money

    Instrument repair programs keep TUSD music alive, save money

    Monday, September 25 2017 12:44 PM EDT2017-09-25 16:44:12 GMT
    Technicians repair broken instruments for TUSD, keeping music alive for students and saving district money (Source: Tucson News Now)Technicians repair broken instruments for TUSD, keeping music alive for students and saving district money (Source: Tucson News Now)

    Tucson United School District is working to keep music alive in their district by making sure every student who wants to play an instrument has
    an opportunity. But getting an instrument in every student’s hands is not cheap. However, the district is able to save thousands of dollars by having two instrument repair technicians.

    Tucson United School District is working to keep music alive in their district by making sure every student who wants to play an instrument has
    an opportunity. But getting an instrument in every student’s hands is not cheap. However, the district is able to save thousands of dollars by having two instrument repair technicians.

  • North Korea Foreign Minister calls Trump's tweet a 'declaration of war'

    North Korea Foreign Minister calls Trump's tweet a 'declaration of war'

    Monday, September 25 2017 11:54 AM EDT2017-09-25 15:54:17 GMT

    North Korea's Foreign Minister addressed reporters in New York City Monday morning to respond to President Trump's tweet that North Korea "won't be around much longer." The North Korean FM said that Trump's tweet was a declaration of war, and that his country now has every right to shoot down U.S. military planes. The Foreign Minister said the following through a translator: This comes from someone who is currently holding the seat of the United States presidency. This i...

    North Korea's Foreign Minister addressed reporters in New York City Monday morning to respond to President Trump's tweet that North Korea "won't be around much longer." The North Korean FM said that Trump's tweet was a declaration of war, and that his country now has every right to shoot down U.S. military planes. The Foreign Minister said the following through a translator: This comes from someone who is currently holding the seat of the United States presidency. This i...

  • Tucson Goes Red for Women

    Tucson Goes Red for Women

    Monday, September 25 2017 10:59 AM EDT2017-09-25 14:59:45 GMT

    You might have seen a lot of people wearing red in support of Go Red for Women over the weekend. The group held a luncheon Saturday focusing on women's heart health.

    You might have seen a lot of people wearing red in support of Go Red for Women over the weekend. The group held a luncheon Saturday focusing on women's heart health.

Powered by Frankly