OKLAHOMA — The Oklahoma State Department of Health wants you to be prepared for the cooler weather and frost advisories on the way, as well as threats posed by the risk of wildfires.
OSDH recommends that people who live close to an area stricken with fire stay indoors to avoid inhalation of smoke, ashes and other pollutants.
Children and older adults have an increased risk of suffering complications from smoke caused by a wildfire as it often contains a mix of gases and fine particles from burning vegetation, building materials and other pollutants.
OSDH Emergency Manager Darrell Eberly encourages families to have a plan for evacuation in the event they are forced to leave their homes quickly.
“Wildfires can occur anywhere,” said Eberly. “They can start in remote areas, or even in your own backyard.”
To protect your home and property, there are a few minor adjustments you can make to prevent the risk of fire.
- Trim all branches that overhang the house.
- Branches around the chimney and driveway should be trimmed within 15 feet. Lower branches should be pruned 6-10 feet up to prevent ground fires from spreading to the top.
- When temperatures are above freezing, place a hose (at least 100-feet long) on a rack and attach it to an outdoor faucet.
- Remove leaves and other debris from the roof and gutters.
- Avoid placing firewood piles too close to the home.
- Plant low-flammable plants in areas next to the home. Avoid coniferous plants when possible.
- Install a metal shield between the home and an attached wood fence.