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As droughts intensify, so does the threat of wildfires that move quickly and can devastate large areas.

If you are in a potentially exposed area, review some of the actions to consider during wildfire season

Wildfire Preparedness

Wildfire & Landscaping

We are committed to helping insureds, brokers and program administrators stay one step ahead of risk and as prepared as possible for adverse events. If you are in an area that could be exposed to a potential wildfire, the following are some general suggested tips and actions to consider taking before a wildfire strikes.

Take these actions on a regular basis to help reduce the risk of ignition on or around your structures.

Landscape and Maintenance Tips for Your Home

Continually monitoring and maintaining your landscaping and other threats around your home are critical steps in increasing your protection from wildfires. Take these actions on a regular basis to help reduce the risk of ignition on or around your home. 

  • Clear leaf debris, pine needles and other debris from the roof and gutters. This will reduce the risk of embers igniting combustible material on or near your roof. 
  • Clear combustible materials from under wood decks. Removing dead vegetation or leaf debris under the deck will reduce the risk of flames spreading to your home. 
  • Reduce native grasses and brush. If it is brown, trim it down to reduce fire intensity. Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger; dispose of these items quickly. Native fuels must be reduced up to at least 100’ from the home, per most fire agency ordinances. 
  • Prune low hanging branches on tall trees six to ten feet from the ground to lessen the likelihood of fire “laddering” up the trees. For smaller trees, prune low hanging branches no more than a third of the tree’s height. Remove tall grasses, leaf debris and any other combustible material from under trees. 
  • Trim trees that hang over your home or other structures. Trees contacting or hanging over the roof are more likely to transfer fire to your home. In addition, these trees will continually deposit combustible debris on the roof and in the gutters. Trimming trees away from the roof also reduces the risk of rodent intrusion.
  • Remove dead thatch from palm trees. This combustible material easily ignites from flying embers and can catch the tree on fire. The thatch can also detach during windy conditions and spread flames to your home or elsewhere on your property.
  • Keep flammable vegetation away from your propane tank, water tank and solar panels. Solar panels can be damaged or destroyed by flames or extreme radiant heat. Propane tanks have the potential to explode if subjected to extreme heat and water tanks made of plastic can melt.
  • Replace bark mulch with hardscaping, such as rock, gravel or stone. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
  • To reduce ember penetration, replace or repair loose or missing roof shingles or tiles, and caulk any gaps or openings on roof edges. Install bird stops or ember stops into gaps between roof tiles and decking.
  • Remove combustible items stored under decks or porches, such as patio cushions, fuel cans, propane tanks, wood scraps, etc.
  • Move wood piles 30 feet away from any structure or cover with a fire-resistant tarp.

Cypress Tree

Maintain Italian cypress trees by removing the dead material inside on a regular basis. These trees are highly flammable and susceptible to ignition from flying embers during a wildfire. A pressure washer can blow the debris out of the tree. If close to any structures, consider replacing with fire-resistive landscaping.

Wildfire Mitigation and Structure Hardening

The information, suggestions and recommendations contained herein are for general informational purposes only. This information has been compiled from sources believed to be reliable. Risk Consulting Services do not address every possible loss potential, law, rule, regulation, practice or procedure. No warranty, guarantee, or representation, either expressed or implied, is made as to the correctness or sufficiency of any such service. Reliance upon, or compliance with, any recommendation in no way guarantees any result, including without limitation the fulfillment of your obligations under your insurance policy or as may otherwise be required by any laws, rules or regulations. No responsibility is assumed for the discovery and/or elimination of any hazards that could cause accidents, injury or damage. The information contained herein should not be construed as financial, accounting, tax or legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

This document is not intended to replace any recommendations from your equipment manufacturers. If you are unsure about any particular testing or maintenance procedure, please contact the manufacturer or your equipment service representative.

Downloadable Materials

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Wildfire Tip Sheet

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Wildfire & Landscaping Tip Sheet

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Wildfire Mitigation and Structure Hardening Tip Sheet

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Australian Bushfire Risks Info Sheet