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Monday, March 12, 2018

Pro-Active Wildfire Protection

When we bought our property here the HUD report indicated we averaged 264" per year in snowfall. Various other reports by landowners indicate otherwise. We have had over 325" some years and far less other years. This year we have received 87" so far and last year which was a very slight winter we had 107" at this time of year. Each year we seem to be declining in volume of snow. In the twenty years we have lived here that makes the risk of wildfire exponentially greater in these dryer years.

We have had numerous red flag warnings throughout the winter which in the past has been rare. Most wildfires are caused by human error but lightning can start one easily. Our community is if memory serves me well, about 15 miles long and about 6 miles wide. There is one access road into the community with two gates. There is a locked gated four wheel drive road leading through the National Forest on one side and another rough dirt road that leads through private property and to a gate into the next community.

When faced with a wildfire people tend to panic and react radically. People visit our community in the Spring, Summer and Fall from different parts of the country. The come in large motor homes, and cars as small as sub-compacts. Both ill suited for two rut dirt roads. If one gets stuck or can't get through then all the vehicles behind it are also stuck. When evacuating and time is precious being stuck out in the open when a wildfire can throw embers up to one mile away is highly hazardous if you ask me.

It is essential that people know how to deal with forest fires if cut off or caught out in the open. Survival could be dependent on knowing what to do if caught under these circumstances. Even with a viable evacuation route with changes in wind direction or blowing embers a good evacuation route could suddenly be cut off. I am not an expert on wildfire survival but because of where we live I have done considerable study on how we would survive a wildfire. Whether it is being caught in the open or protecting your home and property I will report on some common sense methods that hopefully will improve on a persons chance to survive.

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