On May 28th, 2015 Firewise® Madera County Coordinator Roger Maybee made a brief fire wise presentation to YGAOR Realtors and Affiliates.
YGAOR is the Yosemite Association of Realtors, a professional real estate multiple listing service organization.
Areas of discussion included:
- Insurance for homes in the Wildland Urban Interface or WUI
- USAA insurance reduction for Firewise® communities as a local model
- ISO home insurance ratings
- Firewise® Madera County home assessment guide handout
- Firewise®MaderaCounty.org videos being available
- Courtney Fire behavior
- Embers causing most structure ignitions
- Wildfire danger disclosure requirement for the real estate industry
Realtors and real estate agents are not only business professionals. They are homeowners living in our communities too.
They are in the unique position of having a professional and personal stake in hardening homes.
In practical terms, we all do. Being wise regarding fire is a benefit to the entire community and area.
Defensible Space Is Never Enough
Defensible space was not discussed.
Everyone knows about the bad fire season coming.
Everyone knows about cutting brush, whacking weeds and mowing the lawn.
Yet losses keep occurring. And will continue to occur.
Maybee’s presentations focus on taking action to protect your home by addressing the structure itself.
During a wildfire incident in your area, after you’ve planned for evacuation, executed, and are safe from the fire, how prepared the home you left behind is determines its fate.
House Burn Houses
No amount of defensible space is going to have near the positive impact of hardening your home against wildfire for maximum peace of mind. This is demonstrated over and over again as massive losses happen with little or no vegetation involved.
Maybee always uses a visual aid to hammer home this point.
He shows a photo of a neighborhood devastated by wildfire. Two thirds of the homes are destroyed, burned to the ground.
Yet the neighborhood is not heavily forested or overgrown. There is minimal vegetation. There is plenty of defensible space.
Why the destruction? Because once started, homes burn homes in a chain reaction. Houses burn houses. This is a what happened in the 2014 Courtney Fire.
So be sure to harden your home against embers and wildfire.
The presentation overall went well. Consciousness about fire wise issues continues to rise. The big takeaway is that hardening your home is the single best thing you can do after preparing to evacuate.