Tuesday, June 19, 2012

WILDFIRE SEASON: Do you have defensible space?

 Michigan's Duck Lake Forest Fire is now 100 percent contained.
GPS data show the fire stands at 21,069 acres.
all photos by Jonathan Schechter

The south end of the fire was 14 miles north of Newberry and 7 miles west of Tahquamenon Falls State Park campgrounds. The lighting-strike caused fire, which was first detected on Thursday, May 24, was  long and narrow and stretched 11 miles north to the Lake Superior shoreline. In all, fire crews constructed more than 42.6 miles of contained fireline.
Help  for the fire crews of our Michigan DNR wildland firefighters and local departments came from far and wide and included but was not limited to  the Michigan National Guard, Michigan State Police, Michigan State Police Emergency Management, Luce County Sheriff’s Department, Red Cross, Luce County Emergency Management, Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Wisconsin DNR, Minnesota DNR, American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the  Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.
In all, there were 141 properties within the perimeter of the fire. Of those, a total of 136 structures were lost (with a breakdown as follows):
49 homes/cabins (including a store and a motel)
    23 garages
    38 sheds/outbuildings
    26 campers
    The Duck Lake Fire is now out, but the summer fire season has hardly begun. As I write these words another wildfire is churning across Colorado consuming homes in its path. There is something in common with the loss of Michigan and Colorado homes:
    Lack of Defensible Space and lack of becoming 'Fire Adapted'
    Whether you live deep in the forest or at the edge of smaller woods right here in Oakland County, defensible space and situational awareness might make the difference of coming home to an intact home or just nails and fragments of what was your home after a wildfire.
    Want to know more? Open the National Fire Protection Association and FireWise  links and discover what you can do to protect your home from a wildfire.


    Duck Lake Fire outer perimeter roadblocks above and below

    Even a field fire can lead to destruction of a home, if you are not "Fire Wise"


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