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  • Writer's pictureRandy Martin

Proven Strategies for Protecting Your Home and Family from Wildfires

As we approach the summer season, the looming threat of wildfires is always top of mind. Protecting our homes, families, and properties from the devastating impact of wildfires is crucial. In this blog, we're sharing proven strategies to safeguard what matters most.

 
Charred land from a wildfire that came right up to a trail and stopped.
To the right you can see where the fire went right up to the trail and then stopped in its tracks.

At Trailscape, we emphasize the importance of proactive measures to prepare for the heightened fire risks that accompany the summer season. Wildfires can spread rapidly, engulfing everything in their path. The destruction they leave behind can be catastrophic, affecting not only the environment but also homes and lives. Being prepared and informed is the first step to mitigating the risks posed by these natural disasters.


Preparation is Key: Becoming "Fire Ready"

We urge our clients to embrace a "fire-ready" mindset, recognizing that early preparation significantly increases the likelihood of protecting their families and homes from fire damage. Studies show that advanced preparation directly correlates with successful outcomes.


California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), states that preparing or what they call "hardening" your home involves breaking down the outside space into areas you can specifically target. According to their research there are three ways your home may be threatened by fire. The first is obvious, however the second two are ones that you may not realize can cause significant damage:


Direct flames: Typically coming from a wildfire or a neighboring house

Radiant heat: Typically coming from nearby burning objects

Flying embers: Embers can be particularly destructive – capable of igniting homes up to a mile away.


On their website you will find guides for each area of your home and we encourage you to go through each one:


Trail with burned land on one side and untouched land on the other.
In this photo you can see again where the fire burned right up to the trail. This trail and treehouse gave firefighters quick access to where they would have the most success at putting out the flames. Just through the trees you can see the roof shingles of the home owner's house.

Trails as Firebreaks: Protection from Wildfires 

Most often our trail builds are initially intended as recreational escapes. Offering a way to fully enjoy homeowners properties by giving them access to areas that might otherwise be difficult to access due to steep terrain, thick vegetation, or other obstacles. Oftentimes clients will build their trails with a specific destination on their property in mind and other times we find hidden gems for them.


At the same time, our trails can also double as effective firebreaks.Through our extensive experience in trail building, we've witnessed firsthand the pivotal role these pathways can play during wildfire incidents. Trails may serve as a vital barrier, offering an additional layer of protection when wildfires encroach uncomfortably close to homes and properties.


But how can trails slow or stop the burn of a fire?


Essentially, wildfires thrive on oxygen and fuel sources such as dried vegetation.A trail can provide a buffer zone devoid of such combustible materials. As a result, approaching fires encounter a barrier lacking the necessary fuel to sustain their spread. This phenomenon is vividly illustrated in images showcasing charred landscapes juxtaposed with verdant trails acting as natural fire breaks.


In addition, trails provide swift access for firefighters to gain access to critical points where they are able to contain fires, thus significantly improving the success rate of extinguishing them. Oftentimes, properties with trails are given priority due to the likelihood of success in being able to put out the fire.


Hear and see more in this video from 2020 when our trails saved several homes.



Real-Life Testimonials: Trail Saves Homes

The efficacy of fire-resistant trails is perhaps best exemplified by real-life scenarios like the above video of the Glass Fire of 2020. In this instance, our clients' homes were on the brink of destruction until the advancing flames were halted by our trail. Through thoughtful and professionally designed trails, we not only protected individual properties but also facilitated firefighters' access to affected areas, ultimately safeguarding multiple homes from the ravages of the fire.


It is important to note, that in order to uphold the fire resistance of our trails, regular maintenance is paramount. Clearing vegetation within a significant perimeter of the trail ensures a robust fuel break, minimizing the risk of fire jumping across. Routine upkeep, including leaf and debris removal and annual brush trimming, is essential to preserve the integrity of these protective pathways. Should you already have a trail on your property remember we have a full service maintenance crew that will come to do all the work for you!


Trails as Investments

Beyond the role trails play in fire protection, they also offer a benefit that should never be overlooked: enhancing property value. Properties featuring well-maintained, professionally constructed trails command higher prices in the real estate market. Investing in trail construction not only secures your property against wildfires but also bolsters its resale value, making it a cost-effective long-term investment.


By prioritizing the establishment and maintenance of fire-resistant trails, homeowners can proactively mitigate the destructive impact of wildfires while enhancing the overall value and resilience of their properties.

 
The Trailscape Crew

Contact Us

After reading this blog and dreaming about fully experiencing your land and protecting what you love most by way of a trail, please contact us here, (530) 852-5155, or email bryan@trailscapeinc.com. We will design a custom trail to suit your land, family, and budget. We also have a full service maintenance team who will keep your trail in the best shape year round!

Referrals

For those of you who already have a trail on your property, if you're interested in having your trail maintained for free remember when you refer a friend, family member, or colleague who contracts a build with us, we gift you this service complimentary. It is our way of saying thank you for trusting us.

 

Randy Martin

Expert & Exclusive California Trail Builder.

Hundreds of Miles of Trails Designed and Constructed for Private Land Owners.

 

CONTACT: 

(530) 852-5155


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