With the amazing array of wildland fires currently burning in the Northwest, our minds have been greatly exercised about this topic. So we have been developing a plan of action for accomplishing two goals:
- Managing our forest in such a way that it is very "unfriendly" to a wildland fire, but yet still provides a privacy buffer.
- Having a plan, the equipment, and the experience to put out any small fires that develop nearby and/or to stage a reasonable defense of our home should a larger fire head our direction.
This is with the obvious assumption that we are not going to greatly endanger our lives trying to defend "things". But it is in keeping with the principles of self-reliance that we have chosen to live by. While we are very thankful for the professional wildland fire fighters that are bravely battling the blazes each summer, we do not intend to leave the fate of our homestead completely in the hands of government agencies that...well..what shall I say...often make decisions that are based on other goals.
Education is KEY!
So, what to do? Well, the first step is education. There is a lot of material online about this topic. In addition, find someone who is experienced to look over your property and give suggestions for fire prevention and suppression. We did just that by visiting a good friend of our Fire Chief Walt Cross. The outcome of that visit was an excellent DVD called Dealing With Fire On The Homestead. Here is a little video clip from that DVD:
Finally, don't just talk about it--do something! Don't wait until you have a lot of money to invest in fire suppression equipment. Start small and develop something that you can afford, then expand and improve as you are able.