Would your home survive a wildfire?

Not your average zombie prep board. How will you prepare, how will you help?

Moderators: admin, Inquisitor, ForumModerator, WebsiteContent

Post Reply
User avatar
Hiker
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 1932
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:22 pm
Location: Lexington KY
Contact:

Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by Hiker »

Considering recent news from California, I thought this might be prudent.

All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All, separated from government, are compatible with liberty.-Henry Clay
Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms.—Aristotle

User avatar
Marlene
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 5596
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:48 pm
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by Marlene »

I think about this, but I’ve got houses or trees I can’t control inside 100’ in every direction. Mind you, I’d love to be taking down my neighbors’ houses for “fire safety” but I don’t think I could get away with it.
Image

User avatar
CDFingers
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 21545
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:09 pm
Location: Member LGC: norCal
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by CDFingers »

I live in a neighborhood, and the answer is "hail no!" Like with Marlene, we have things we can't control right up there. And it's our neighbor to the south we'd like to excise for fire safety, but, alas.

CDFingers
ImageImage
You arrest the girls for turnin' tricks
but you won't touch Stagger Lee

User avatar
shinzen
Site Admin
Posts: 19453
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:52 pm
Location: Northern California
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by shinzen »

Yeah, the 100' of defensible space is very relevant when you are in a more rural setting- my dad still is a volunteer firefighter in Colorado, and despite being pretty good about it around our rural cabin, it still burned while random things on the property were skipped. Where I live now in suburbia, like Marlene and CDF, I'm at the mercy of my neighbors as every house that borders to me is less than 100' away.
Image

User avatar
featureless
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 6212
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 6:11 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by featureless »

Urban dweller here, too. Keeping vegetation off of your house and leaves out of your gutters is about all you can do when your neighbor's house is 10 to 20 feet away. My house is stucco exterior with tile roof, so, in theory, sort of fire resistant. But it has the same vented attic that seems to suck in embers as all the rest of the houses that have burned down recently.

We also have this cute little fire sprinkler system that is on the inside of the house (I believe it became code circa 2010 but was implemented earlier in some jurisdictions) that makes it impossible to get a very airtight house for insulation purposes. I guess it might help buy time to get out if there is an individual fire but in the event of many homes on fire, it would very likely depressurize the municipal delivery system and be useless. Now sprinklers on a non vented roof has some merit.

The reality is, if a fire gets started in an urban area and there is high wind, it will be very difficult to stop with current building styles.

User avatar
Bucolic
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 8044
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 5:51 am
Location: Southern PA.
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by Bucolic »

Probably mine would survive. Only cut grass (lawn) and shrubs w/i 100 feet. A couple large, deciduous trees - Maples and a linden - with high canopies. We have a 3/4 acre pond adjacent to the barn and not far from the house so there’s an abundant water source. I worry more about the 150+ year old barn. Lots of fuel in its structure and stored hay. Were it to go, the stable and coop would be in danger.

Given the near record breaking rainfall here this year, the fire danger in the nearby forests is very low right now. Of course, this could change.
Image

User avatar
atxgunguy
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 5958
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:42 pm
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by atxgunguy »

Same situation as most. In suburbia. My only advantage there is that I'm way deep into the subdivision, so pretty safe as long as it burns the periphery. I do live with earshot of a trauma center and another hospital, so I would think the authorities would keep the fires away from emergency services.

I did see the fires were burning hot enough to melt Aluminum car rims and windshields, so unless you've got concrete/brick walls, you're still not safe enough.
LGC Texas - Central Region President

Image

User avatar
featureless
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 6212
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 6:11 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by featureless »

atxgunguy wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:16 pm
Same situation as most. In suburbia. My only advantage there is that I'm way deep into the subdivision, so pretty safe as long as it burns the periphery. I do live with earshot of a trauma center and another hospital, so I would think the authorities would keep the fires away from emergency services.
Santa Rosa had to evacuate two hospitals during the Tubbs fire in 2017. One fire station was completely destroyed. Don't be too comfortable with the "authorities would keep the fires away from emergency services." We also lost emergency radio and cell communications as towers were eaten by the fire. Weather continues to defy our best efforts to control it.

Here's a very interesting map that shows how quickly the Tubbs fire grew. It was compounded by other concurrent fires to the north and southeast, not shown on the map that completely overwhelmed local and regional emergency response. I know the dispatch manager that was on duty that night. His stories are heart wrenching. Time and time again he had to tell citizens and emergency responders that no help was coming.
https://www.pressdemocrat.com/multimedi ... ire-spread

AndyH
Banned
Posts: 5250
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:05 pm

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by AndyH »

There's a full range of proven fireproofing info available in Bill Mollison's "Permaculture: A Designer's Manual".

Cement, stucco, metal roofing, earthworks, and fireproof trees and bushes work. Our wood frame building style and intensive care system of utility connections are severely compromised from the start. That the best suggestion fire control and insurance folks have is to clear the ground 100' around the structure shows their ignorance. That we rely on them is sad.

User avatar
atxgunguy
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 5958
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:42 pm
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by atxgunguy »

featureless wrote:
atxgunguy wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:16 pm
Same situation as most. In suburbia. My only advantage there is that I'm way deep into the subdivision, so pretty safe as long as it burns the periphery. I do live with earshot of a trauma center and another hospital, so I would think the authorities would keep the fires away from emergency services.
Santa Rosa had to evacuate two hospitals during the Tubbs fire in 2017. One fire station was completely destroyed. Don't be too comfortable with the "authorities would keep the fires away from emergency services." We also lost emergency radio and cell communications as towers were eaten by the fire. Weather continues to defy our best efforts to control it.

Here's a very interesting map that shows how quickly the Tubbs fire grew. It was compounded by other concurrent fires to the north and southeast, not shown on the map that completely overwhelmed local and regional emergency response. I know the dispatch manager that was on duty that night. His stories are heart wrenching. Time and time again he had to tell citizens and emergency responders that no help was coming.
https://www.pressdemocrat.com/multimedi ... ire-spread
"Would think" is the key phrase. There are still burn scars in my neck of the woods from a fire that happened in 2011, the threat is very real to me. I'd be ready to evacuate if need be. I definitely wouldn't rely on the authorities making that judgment call.
LGC Texas - Central Region President

Image

User avatar
featureless
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 6212
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 6:11 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by featureless »

Just busting your chops, atx.

I never considered the coffee park neighborhood in Santa Rosa as being at risk from wildfire. The house I rented there in my college days a couple decades ago burned down with the rest of them.

User avatar
highdesert
Carpal Tunnel
Posts: 16693
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:54 pm
Location: Biggest state on the Left Coast
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by highdesert »

Live in a rural area. It's the desert, but we do have trees and sandy soil that grows about anything. I have a long narrow lot so I don't have 100' on either side with neighbors, thankfully no one has a lot of vegetation. Previous owner went tree crazy, I pulled out most two more to go. Stucco house with a composition roof, not a pink stucco house with a tile roof like a lot of So Cal. County fire and Cal Fire about a mile away and a hydrant directly across the street. A lot of federal lands around here and fire is a huge concern with them.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

User avatar
atxgunguy
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 5958
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:42 pm
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by atxgunguy »

featureless wrote:Just busting your chops, atx.

I never considered the coffee park neighborhood in Santa Rosa as being at risk from wildfire. The house I rented there in my college days a couple decades ago burned down with the rest of them.
No worries!
LGC Texas - Central Region President

Image

User avatar
beaurrr
Carpal Tunnel
Posts: 5034
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:56 pm
Location: Cave Junction OR
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by beaurrr »

Without successful intervention by wildland fightfighters, it's highly doubtful. The lower elevation forests of southern Oregon are not that different, risk-wise, than those around Redding or Paradise. We just got lucky this year, that's all. This summer, starting around 1 July, and running through October, was smokey, unhealthy mess. Last year was nearly as bad.
I love it here, but I'm about ready to put my house up for sale and move.
Hell is where:
The British are the chefs
The Swiss are the lovers
The French are the mechanics
The Italians make everything run on time
And the Germans are the police

User avatar
eelj
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 15365
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:49 pm
Location: Minnesota
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by eelj »

Any forest that is tinder dry is a danger. And when the west coast is burning the air quality in Mn sucks as well.

User avatar
YankeeTarheel
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 11522
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:01 pm
Location: The Jughandle State
Contact:

Re: Would your home survive a wildfire?

Post by YankeeTarheel »

If I get a fire hose, there's a hydrant at the end of my driveway. Actually, we've been having so much rain a wildfire isn't the risk here--we've had flash-flood warnings as recently as 4 days ago, and, in years past some SERIOUS flooding! Luckily, we're on a hill--I always want a house to be on a hill.
""If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." -- LBJ

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests