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June 15, 2010   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
June 15, 2010

New AFC publication seeks to prevent wildfires.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) has produced two publications, "50 Ways to Make Your Woodland Home Firewise" and "Five Ways to Protect Your Forestland from Wildfires" to aid homeowners whose property adjoins wildland areas.

"50 Ways ..." recommends such no-cost actions as maintaining a green lawn for 30 feet around your home to higher-cost measures such as replacing wood or vinyl siding with nonflammable material.

"Five Ways ..." offers recommendations to help forest owners become proactive in wildfire protection.

During the past five years, 874 homes were damaged or destroyed as a result of 16,433 wildfires across Alabama. During that same time, 2,696 other structures, as well as 738 vehicles also burned in wildfires. "Homes damaged or destroyed by wildfire are simply unacceptable, especially if such tragedy can be prevented," said State Forester Linda Casey.

With more people moving to and living in rural areas of the state, the AFC and local fire departments are facing new challenges in providing fire protection. The threat from wildfire is very real, particularly during periods of high fire occurrence, extreme weather conditions, and for those people who live in high fire risk areas.

Alabama's Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment has identified high fire-risk communities in the state. Current research indicates that 935 communities in Alabama are at high or very high risk from wildfires while 7,030 communities are at moderate risk. Homeowners and community leaders can visit the Alabama Forestry Commission website or contact the local AFC office to find out if their community is in a high-risk area.

Professionals with the Alabama Forestry Commission have the training and experience to guide homeowners and landowners through the process of hazard reduction on their property. Consultations are free upon request.

Both publications and additional information can be found at www.forestry.alabama.gov and clicking on the link, "Homes, Communities in the Forest."

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