You cut your trees, filled the gaps in the siding and swept away pine needles. By passing your final inspection, you received your Wildfire Partners yard sign and certificate.
Wildfire mitigation is not a one and done event. To remain effective, it requires regular maintenance. What kinds of things do you need to stay on top of during the next year?
Spring can bring abundant moisture to the foothills of Boulder County. With that snow and rain, grasses around your home can grow quickly. It’s important to keep grasses trimmed to less than 6 inches within the first 30 feet around your home (Zone 1). Don’t wait for grasses to dry out, as they can be much harder to cut. You may end up weed-whipping every week during spring and early summer.
Spring can also bring Chinook winds. Chinook literally means snow-eater, and these warm winds can dry out things quickly and bring pine needles raining down on your home. Check your gutters and roof for pine needles and clean them out as needed.
Pine needles will also build up quickly around the exterior of your home. If you have bare mineral soil, raking regularly can help. If you have a rock or gravel barrier, a leaf blower can be invaluable to get rid of needles and other combustible debris.
Winds can also blow shingles off your roof. Checking your roof for missing shingles or other gaps in spring will help keep your roof resistant to ember showers.
Birds can often build up nests along the eaves or under the roof line. These woody nests provide tinder fuels that can ignite from embers. Remove them early before birds return to nest in them.
During springtime, shrubs can grow considerably from the previous year. A good pruning will keep them from risking ignition to your home’s exterior.
One or two years after forestry work, small pines and firs can start to grow. When these small trees grow under mature conifers, they are considered ladder fuels. They can catch on fire easily and then set the tree on fire. Ladder fuel trees can be easily cut down with a hand saw.
Winter can bring downed trees and downed limbs. It’s good to collect this dead and down wood and haul them to the sort yard for disposal.
Wildfire Partners also recommends re-certification assessments every two years. It can be valuable to have the eyes of one of our mitigation specialists take another look at your property and make some recommendations. Once you pass inspection, you’ll be issued a new certificate that can be used with your insurance. We’ll also provide a new sticker for your yard sign. We do charge a $100 fee for re-certifications. Call or email us to set one up for your home.
By maintaining your mitigation work each year, you’ll keep it manageable and save yourself from having to do major work down the road.