Living with Fire              Why We’re Worried              The Fire Environment    
Defensible Space              Making Your Home Defensible    
When Wildfire Approaches              Fire Department Phone Numbers

Should homes be threatened by wildfire, occupants may be advised to evacuate to protect them from life-threatening situations. Homeowners, however, do have the right to stay on their properties if they so desire and so long as their activities do not hinder fire fighting efforts. If occupants are not contacted in time to evacuate or if owners decide to stay with their homes, these suggestions will help them protect their properties and families. It is best to evacuate when asked to do so.
  • Evacuate, if possible, all family members not essential to protecting the house.
    Evacuate pets as well.
  • Contact a friend or relative and relay your plans.
  • Make sure family members are aware of a prearranged meeting place.
  • Tune into a local radio station and listen for instructions.
  • Place vehicles in the garage, have them pointing out, and roll up windows.
  • Place valuable papers and mementos in the car.
  • Close the garage door, but leave it unlocked. If applicable, disconnect the 
    electric garage door opener so that the door can be opened manually.
  • Place combustible patio furniture in the house or garage.
  • Shut off propane at the tank or natural gas at the meter.
  • Wear only cotton or wool clothes. Proper attire includes long pants, long 
    sleeved shirt or jacket, and boots. Carry gloves, a handkerchief to cover face,
    water to drink, and goggles.
  • Close all exterior vents.
  • Prop a ladder against the house so firefighters have easy access to the roof.
  • Make sure that all garden hoses are connected to faucets and attach a nozzle 
    set on “spray.”
  • Soak rags, towels, or small rugs with water to use in beating out embers or 
    small fires.
  • Inside, fill bathtubs, sinks, and other containers with water. Outside, do the 
    same with garbage cans and buckets. Remember that the water heater and
    toilet tank are available sources of water.
  • Close all exterior doors and windows.
  • Close all interior doors.
  • Open the fireplace damper, but place the screen over the hearth to prevent
    sparks and embers from entering the house.
  • Leave a light on in each room.
  • Remove lightweight and/or non-fire resistant curtains and other combustible
    materials from around windows.
  • If available, close fire resistant drapes, shutters, or Venetian blinds. Attach
    pre-cut plywood panels to the exterior of windows and glass doors.
  • Turn off all pilot lights.
  • Move overstuffed furniture (e.g. couches, easy chairs, etc.) to the center of
    the room.
  • Keep wood shake or shingle roofs moist by spraying water. Do not waste
    water. Consider placing a lawn sprinkler on the roof if water pressure is
    adequate. Do not turn on until burning embers begin to fall on the roof.
  • Continually check the roof and attic for embers, smoke, or fire.

    If a fire should occur within the house, contact the fire department immediately.
    Continue to inspect your house and property for embers and smoke.

    Most importantly, STAY CALM!
Short annual grass; may dominate disturbed areas; extremely flammable when dried.
Very common gray-green shrub; does
not resprout;
considered a
flammable plant.
Often growing with big sagebrush; dark green three-tipped leaves, growth form and size variable; tall and dense stands burn very intensely.
Scrubby oak; gray-green leaves; flexible branches that are gray in color;
re-sprouts; very
Small pine tree; one needle per bundle; can form thick stands.
Shrubby juniper tree; may grow in association with pinyon pine.