February 23, 2023
We want to thank the residents who attended the February 13th Town Hall meeting. Fire personnel from American Fork and Utah County shared information during this meeting about how to protect your home and family if you live in a wildland urban interface (WUI) zone. (The WUI zone is where structures intermingle with undeveloped wildland and vegetative fuels) There is a lot of information online about how to be ready for a wildfire – here is one resource: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/prepare-for-wildfire/get-ready/defensible-space/
Here is some additional information about living in a WUI zone:
- Check your insurance coverages to make sure you have adequate policies in place in the event of a fire.
- If you need to evacuate your home, place your garbage can in the center of your driveway as an indication to emergency personnel that you have left the property. This will save valuable time by allowing emergency workers to focus on notifying occupied homes.
- If you have “native” or undeveloped areas on your property, maintain these areas in a way that minimizes additional fire risk to your home.
- Set up defensible space zones on improve your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire:
- Keep your property lean and green to help protect your family and home. Defensible space, coupled with home hardening, is essential to improve your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. Defensible space is the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surround it. This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it helps protect your home from catching fire—either from embers, direct flame contact or radiant heat. Proper defensible space also provides firefighters a safe area to work in, to defend your home.
- Defensible Space Zones. Zones 1 and 2 currently make up the 100 feet of defensible space required by law. Assembly Bill 3074, passed into law in 2020, requires a third zone for defensible space. This law requires the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to develop the regulation for a new ember-resistant zone (Zone 0) within 0 to 5 feet of the home by January 1, 2023. The intensity of wildfire fuel management varies within the 100-foot perimeter of the home, with more intense fuels’ reduction occurring closer to your home. Start at the home and work your way out to 100 feet or to your property line, whichever is closer.