Firefighters share ways to protect your home from wildfires

Firefighters share ways to protect your home from wildfires
SEATTLE - Lightning-filled storms are headed this way again - and so is the risk that one of those bolts will start a fire.

And now crews across Washington state are asking homeowners to do their part - to protect their homes.

We've seen video of the damage ferocious flames can do. In Central Washington, sheds, barns, homes have gone up in flames.

But what if there were something you could do to defend against devastation? Fire experts say - there is.

"The more the homeowner can do up front the less they have to rely on us," says one veteran of the fire lines

Firefighters gave us a look inside the Colockum Tarps fire lines - and at what's still standing. Some homes were spared by mother nature because of the actions homeowners took.

"They've spent the time working on that, and they're going to make sure their investment that they've made - everything in that house - is going to stay standing," says this firefighter.

Fire experts say when flames are coming, you should clear any dry vegitation, patio furniture and barbecue equipment within a 30-foot radius of your home.

"It doesn't need to look like you put your house in the middle of a Walmart parking lot," says this fire official. "It does mean you take a look at those fuels - and on a worse day, what's it going to look like and what do you need to do to bust that fuel bed up."

Firefighters say you should install nonflammable roofing and siding. Cedar makes good kindling and is the worst thing you could nail to your roof.

Also, clearly mark the septic tank, keep grass cut short and keep 100 feet of water hose readily available at each faucet.

Fire experts say with the Colockum Tarps fire they had time to help get many cabins fire-ready, but that isn't always the case.

"Mother Nature hands us some ugly days, and we know that there'll be days we can't deal with all the fire with the number of trucks we have," says this fire official.

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The Department of Natural Resources website has more tips on how you can protect your home »