If you plan on moving into a wooded area, you may want to identify whether that area is at a high risk for wildfires. It doesn’t matter where you plan on building, you should choose an area that will be as safe as possible from the chance of wildfire. Look at the entire area around you. Wildfire can start miles away from where it ends.
Here is how to identify a high risk wildfire area:
Undergrowth- If there is a lot of brush and undergrowth in the general area that you would like to build a home, it is likely to be at a much higher wildfire risk. This can be easily transformed into a lower risk by clearing about the brush and undergrowth that has overtaken the forest floor. Living in a wooded area that has a lot of undergrowth puts you at the highest possible risk for wildfire events. Don’t take the chance. Get the undergrowth/brush cleared out before you build and move into your new home.
Dense Woods- Very densely wooded areas are at high risk for wildfire because of the fuel that it provides a possible woods fire. There is likely a lot of dead, dry wood in the area if there are a lot of trees in one place. Clear out a good portion of the trees to make your home safer from wildfire occurrences in your area. You don’t need to clear all of the trees away. It is wise to get out any dead trees that are either still standing or have fallen. They are the greatest risk to your home because they have already begun to dry out.
Previous Wildfires- This is a catch 22 because if there has been a recent wildfire in the area that you want to build your new home, the chances of it happening again are less likely. That means that your home will be much safer for a time because there is far less fuel for a new fire to catch on to. However, as time passes, that growth will reappear and there is a chance that another bad wildfire will come through the area.
Lack of Humidity- If the area you are considering building your new home is a low humidity area, your home will be at risk for wildfire. Dry areas are much more susceptible to wildfire than humid areas of the country because there is no moisture to put out sparks that can get out of hand. There is no real solution for this problem. The only thing that you can do about this is to move closer to the east coast areas and areas that are high in humidity.
Prone to Lightening Storms- Lightening storms are notorious for starting wildfires. If the area you are considering for your new home is prone to lightening storms, it is a high-risk wildfire area. The only way to prevent this type of wildfire is to keep your home from being a target for lightening. That means making sure that very tall trees are removed when they are close to the home that you are building. This is one risk that you cannot do a lot about. There are precautionary measures that you can take though.
If some or all of these conditions exist in the area that you wish to build a home, consider taking extra precautions when you build your home. Make sure the materials used for building is “fire proof” and that you clear the area around where the home will be from thick brush undergrowth and trees. You don’t have to give up the idea of building a home in the area that you wish to build in if it is a high risk wildfire area. You do have to take extra precautions if you do build there.