Wildfire Preparedness is Year-Round: Remove Dead Plants and Debris from Property

As fall approaches and cooler temperatures set in, wildfire season can seem like a distant concern. However, this is a great time to begin preparations for the next fire season and clean up around your home. The 2022 Wildfire Preparedness is Year-Round campaign provides monthly wildfire preparedness tasks that follow the changing seasons. The October message from the Fire Adapted New Mexico Learning Network (FACNM), and agencies managing nearby state and national public lands, national forests, and non-governmental organizations is remove dead plants and debris from your property.

Seasonal upkeep, like raking dry leaves; cleaning gutters, roofs, and canales; or regularly trimming trees that could grow too close to your home, is simple step you can take for wildfire preparedness. Maintain your yard and outdoor space year-round and remove accumulated trimmings, dead plants and debris from your property to reduce wildfire risks.

Here are some helpful tips for seasonal cleanup:

  • Clean your roof and gutters of leaves and needles.
  • Prune all tree branches overhanging your house, especially conifers and cypress.
  • Prune back all tree branches within 10 feet of your chimney.
  • Prune lower branches on trees 6-10 feet off the ground within 30 feet of the home, especially conifers and cypress.
  • Clear away dead wood and dense flammable vegetation within your Home Ignition Zone.
  • Clear away flammable vegetation within 10 feet of woodpiles.
  • Dispose of accumulated trimmings before fire season.
  • Create a fuel-free zone 0-5 feet from all structures with no combustible materials.
  • Talk to your neighbors and create a larger defensible space together.
  • Plan months ahead and circle the first Saturday of May on your calendar as the target date to clean up and remove debris and dead plants around your home. The National Fire Protection Association’s Wildfire Community Preparedness Day for 2023 is May 6.

Whether it’s yard clean-up to create defensible space, hardening your home, or community wildfire preparedness collaboration, getting little things done now will help minimize much needed work in the future. For additional information, check the National Fire Protection Association’s guidance on protecting your home from wildfire.

Your NM wildfire cooperators, including the BLM New Mexico, New Mexico Forestry Division, the Forest Stewards Guild, the Fire Adapted New Mexico learning network, Santa Fe, Cibola and Carson National Forests, New Mexico Coalition of Conservation Districts, National Park Service, and Bureau of Indian Affairs, to continue in 2022 a wildfire preparedness calendar and share the message across multiple platforms, including social media, webinars and community events. Bookmark the wildfire preparedness webpage to follow the campaign throughout the year. 

Wildfire Preparedness Is Year-Round banner for October showing roof with leaves in rain gutter.

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