How to protect your home during fire season - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

How to protect your home during fire season

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Fire season for the NC Forest Service starts in mid-February, and 224 reported wildfires across the state this past weekend prove that they're in the thick of it.

The three-day total accounts for a majority of the 296 cases in the last week, which is a good portion of the 523 fires statewide in March. District Ranger Michael Malcolm said March has been the busiest month so far, in a year that's included 1,013 wildfires for the Forest Service.

A recent brush fire in Leland flared up a second time Friday night nearly doubling its original size. The initial cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Malcolm said strong winds paired with the right humidity levels were to blame for the second round of flames.

"You still have a little bit of smoke," he said. "A little bit of smoldering.

The fire threatened commercial structures, but no homes. Touring the nearby neighborhood, Malcolm said many of the homes are in good shape for several reasons. He cited the following as items to consider around your house:

  • Have a hose connected somewhere outside the house.
  • Keep your house clear of trees with an open space of 30'.
  • Clean your gutters of any leaves or straw.
  • Landscape with rock or mulch instead of straw.
  • If planting shrubs, consider ones that are not so waxy.

Malcolm said the suggestions are common sense, but he still has to remind people when responding to the number one cause of fires for the NC Forest Service – someone burning debris.

"One little match can go from something small to something big very quickly," he said.

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