Saturday, December 1, 2018

Why a House in the Middle of the Northern California Wildfire Was Not Damaged

House intact in the middle of the wildfire.
There is one common element to houses that have survived the California wildfires. 

The owners didn't depend on government to protect them and acted way in advance to do the things that would protect their homes:

The Washington Post explains:
Jeff and Cathy Moore have devoted hours of labor to clearing brush away from their house in the Sierra Nevada foothills in preparation for a massive wildfire, which suddenly became reality on Nov. 8. Smoke from the approaching Camp Fire blackened the mid-morning sky so completely that they had to light candles indoors.
The Moores started their generator and pumped water from their well to sprinklers on the roof of their California home. After retreating for several hours, the couple returned to spend the entire night dousing vegetation and stomping out spot fires on their own and neighboring properties, preventing them from igniting and further fueling the blaze. By the time the fire department showed up the next day, Jeff Moore said, “everything was out.” Not only was their home saved, but so were adjacent buildings in a neighborhood where many burned.
Some 40 million homes across the United States risk being destroyed in wildfires, according to the U.S. Forest Service, reports the Bezos rag. Here's what the paper says can be done:
Many fire-prevention measures can be cheaply addressed by homeowners: Clear pine needles and other flammable debris from roofs, rain gutters, decks and yards. Avoid stacking firewood directly against a house. Border the home with bare-soil flower gardens, rather than bark mulch. Replace wooden fences with materials that don’t burn. Install mesh screens over vents to prevent smoldering material from getting inside. Surround homes with fire-resistant hardwood trees, like aspen, oaks and maples, which can form a heat shield and wind damper during a conflagration. 
“It’s the little things that are igniting our communities,” [Jack] Cohen, [a former firefighter and longtime fire behavior expert for the Forest Service] said. 


  1. So when are they going to be fined and/or arrested?

  2. When the Cedar Fire got close enough to my house in 2003 I attached four sprinklers to my roof. If the fire got close enough I could simply turn on the spigots and let the rain come down. Luckily the need did not come. This may not have saved the house but I couldn’t just sit on my hands and do nothing.