Home Ignition

Many people believe that wildfires ignite homes by the direct contact
of flames on flammable surfaces. But it is rare to have a home ignite
this way. More commonly, homes ignite either by being preheated by an
approaching wildfire to the point of combustion, or more commonly, from
air-borne flaming brands and embers commonly called “red snow”. Flaming
brands and embers can travel as far as 5 miles ahead of the active front
of a wildfire and recent research has shown that up to 60% of
wildland/urban interface home ignitions are from “red snow” landing on
flammable roofs or in other flammable objects, which in turn ignites the
home.

Homes that are not vulnerable to ignition will likely not burn in a
wildfire. Most of the activity that makes a home less vulnerable to
ignition addresses the home and it’s immediately surroundings out to 100
feet. There are many things you can do to decrease your home ignition
potential, many of which costs little money and can be done in a
weekend. Firewise Building Materials includes information about
non-flammable building materials,suggestions for new home construction,
building codes and ordinances,and how to retrofit your existing home
to make it less flammable. Firewise Landscaping includes information on how to design,
install, and maintain a firewise landscape, descriptions on what makes a particular
plant more fire-prone than another, and a short-list of some firewise plant
material ideas for Idaho.