By Glenn Lauper
Deputy Fire Chief
the temperature hits 90 degrees and lingers, wildland fire danger goes up. Burning embers and sparks can travel up to a
mile from a fire. Even the smallest spark can ignite a powerful and damaging
blaze under the right conditions.
Coeur d’Alene Deputy Fire Chief
Glenn Lauper tracks news of wildland fires across the nation. When the Lower North Fork fire occurred in
Colorado in April of this year, 3 people died. Authorities reported that 12% of
the people who lived in the fire’s path did not receive emergency notification
that the fire was approaching. Early
this July, a wildland fire in Pocatello destroyed over 100 structures. Lauper and other fire department personnel
pass along information about lessons learned from these fires to prevent
similar events from happening in our community.
Wildland fire is the number one natural threat to
Kootenai County residents and property. It’s not too late to prepare for the
threat of wildfire, and citizens can do a lot to help themselves during these
dog days of summer.
example, consider incorporating Fire
Resistive Design. When building,
remodeling, or landscaping, purchase fire resistive building materials such as
cement board siding and fire-rated roofing materials. Grass and ivy are
excellent fire resistant landscaping features.
Also consider Fire Resistive Maintenance. Clear or thin natural fuels 30-to-50 feet from
your home and limb up trees to remove “ladder” fuels. Store your firewood at
least 20 feet from all structures. Clear your roof and gutters of all pine
needles and leaves. Have your address numbers clearly visible from the street.
If a wildfire threatens, listen
to the radio, TV, or view social media for emergency broadcasts. Back your
vehicle into the garage or driveway, have a “Go” bag packed and ready to go,
including a phone and medications (go to www.ready.gov
for emergency supply list). Then, listen for instructions or call 911. Assemble a shovel, rake, and garden hose and
wet down combustible roof and siding if time allows. Fill buckets with water
and place a roof ladder on the opposite side of the roof from the side of the
fire threat. Know two different ways out of your neighborhood.
The Coeur d’Alene Fire and Police
departments are working together to protect the community during these hot, dry
days. They are currently developing redundant emergency notification systems
and social media applications to alert the public about what to do and where to
go in an emergency.
For more information, please call
the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department at 208-769-2340, visit its website cdafire.org,
Facebook, or follow the department on Twitter: @CDAFD. Sign up for emergency notifications at www.Nixle.com
or by texting your zip code to 888777.