Homeowners can take action to help secure properties against potential wildfires, according to University Wyoming Extension information.

“With the critically dry and hot conditions this year, it is extremely wise to make sure you create a defensible space around the entire perimeter of your home and all outbuildings,” said Ron Cunningham, a UW Extension educator based in Fremont County. “This is the one thing you can do to help prevent catastrophic losses from wildfires.”

Cunningham advised homeowners to:

  • Trim and/or mow grassy areas around all buildings to a distance of at least 30 feet; 100 feet is preferable
  • Move all firewood stacked against or near any building at least 30 feet away until winter
  • Remove near any building dead tree branches and shrubs full of dead branches and cut down all trees and shrubs to a distance of up to 30 feet from any building, if possible
  • Water grassy areas near buildings more frequently
  • Move all hay and straw 50-100 feet away from sheds, garages and barns

 “One of the hardest fires to put out is a hay or straw fire as they have so much fuel packed tightly into the bales,” Cunningham said.

Protecting a house from wildfire is detailed along with other fire-wise suggestions at the UW Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) website managed by land-grant universities and federal agencies.

Go to uwyo.edu/ces and click on Extension Educational Program Areas on the left-hand side, then Ag and Natural Resources, the link under Disasters, then Wildfires under Natural Disasters.

Fire-wise information is also available at barnyardsandbackyards.com by UW Extension. Go to www.uwyo.edu/barnbackyard/resources and click on Wildfire.

“Enjoy the summer, but do not have any open fires and do not shoot off fireworks if fire or fireworks bans are in place,” said Cunningham.