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>>

  • breaking

    Alleged purse snatcher turns self in to police

    Alleged purse snatcher turns self in to police

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 4:43 PM EDT2017-06-27 20:43:30 GMT
    The suspect turned herself in to Nogales police on Monday, June 26. (Source: Nogales Police Department)The suspect turned herself in to Nogales police on Monday, June 26. (Source: Nogales Police Department)

    Nogales police interviewed the 54-year-old Nogales resident and began the booking process. Charges were referred to prosecution for further processing.

    Nogales police interviewed the 54-year-old Nogales resident and began the booking process. Charges were referred to prosecution for further processing.

  • Peppa Pig Live coming to Arizona

    Peppa Pig Live coming to Arizona

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 3:45 PM EDT2017-06-27 19:45:06 GMT
    (Source: Peppa Pig Live)(Source: Peppa Pig Live)

    An icon of British children's television will be making their way to Arizona at the end of 2017.

    An icon of British children's television will be making their way to Arizona at the end of 2017.

  • breaking

    GREAT NEWS: Trooper finds missing elderly woman safe

    GREAT NEWS: Trooper finds missing elderly woman safe

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 3:01 PM EDT2017-06-27 19:01:15 GMT
    Doris Ogle (Source: Pima County Sheriff's Department)Doris Ogle (Source: Pima County Sheriff's Department)

    According to a news release, 86-year-old Doris Jeanne Ogle was found safe by a Department of Public Safety trooper shortly before noon on Tuesday, June 27, about 3 and a half hours after she had gone missing.

    According to a news release, 86-year-old Doris Jeanne Ogle was found safe by a Department of Public Safety trooper shortly before noon on Tuesday, June 27, about 3 and a half hours after she had gone missing.

Powered by Frankly