Preparing for Wildland Fire on Your Homestead

| 9/7/2015 10:15:00 AM

Tags: wildfires, emergency preparedness, firebreaks, raising livestock, Sean Mitzel, Idaho,


Emergency preparedness is a necessary part of any well-functioning homestead. The lives of people and animals are at stake and, of course, many homesteaders livelihoods depend on it. This is especially timely and relevant considering the massive amounts of fires that have been and are burning in the Pacific Northwest. 

Preparedness is a vast subject and one could really get wrapped up in the mire of endless scenarios to prepare for and that, in and of itself, is an important topic. What do you prepare for? How do you prepare for it? The truth of the matter is that you cannot prepare for every conceivable event. To steal from the infamous and cult classic, The Princess Bride, “it is inconceivable!” 

One of the worst case scenarios for any homesteader is if you have to leave your homestead now! Hence, the emphasis on wildland fire. 

This is the exact situation my famiily was presented with a few weeks ago due to sudden forestland wildfire that started less than 1/2 mile from our property. To make matters worse, my wife and I were not at home, we were a full day’s drive from our homestead. Our kids were holding down the fort. They informed us of the situation and we made the quick decision to evacuate them immediately due to the drought, high winds and very dry conditions being experienced. 

Fortunately, our kids were able to act quickly, due to prior preparation, and call 911 to alert them to the fire. The fire department, armed with helicopter and float planes responded quickly and were able to douse the fire before it became out of control. No lives or structures were lost except for some portions of downed powerline which caused the blaze in the first place.

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