Fire's Comin'

What can you do if fire is heading for your house?
Updated 14nov21

Copyright 2010-2021 Ken Young ( All rights reserved.
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Fire is heading for your house. What do you do?

If it is a simple grass fire you can try to defend your house with sprinklers, garden hoses and rakes until the fire department shows up. Create a barrier of bare ground and wet grass.

If it is a wildfire that the fire department is battling to control, you won't be able to help. Watering your yard and roof is a waste of time, and you will need every minute.

If you only have a few hours, load what you can into your vehicle and get out before fire blocks the road. You don't have enough time to do anything that will save your house, and you need that time to save your stuff and escape before it is too late. If you wait too long you will lose everything.

If you have a few days you can make your property more fire resistant. But the best time to do this is before the fire starts.

This little interactive page covers the basics:

Keep your pets in one room so you can find them quickly if you have to evacuate.
Arrange for a temporary place to stay outside the threatened area.

Keep your indoor air clean Ė close windows and doors to prevent the smoke outside from getting in your home. Use the recycle mode on the air conditioner in your home or car. If you donít have air conditioning and itís too hot to be inside, seek shelter somewhere else.
If the smoke is thick, don't go out in it. If you are exposed to it, wear a respirator. The cheap dust masks with one string are inadequate, the ones with two strings are better.

How can you make your property fire resistant?

The idea is to make it possible for the fire department to save your house. They can tell which house can be saved and which can't just by looking. Most of the fuel that destroys your home is on your property. Keep your property defensible at all times.
Remember that when fire arrives, it will be raining embers. The heat will dry everything out and melt your hoses & sprinklers. Many types of bushes can dry out, ignite via ember, and burn like torches. Your only defense is to get everything that burns away from the house.

You've seen the photos. A lone house stands unharmed in a sea of scorch. That house had defensible space, and all the houses around didn't.

What resources are out there? is an excellent resource

More information

People die in wildfires because of things like this

After the fire

See also

Disaster Readiness
Preparing for others
Disaster readiness for kids Zip kits
Home emergency kits 72-hour kits
House Fire Prevention

This information was downloaded from