#14 – Wildfire on the Homestead: Stay & Fight or Clear Out?

Published by: The Ready Life

Watch / Listen Here:


What We Covered

Wildfires are a part of life in the western US. It even affects the East at times too. This episode covers what you need to know to start preparing your home for wildfires.

We also present the controversial option of sheltering in place to actively participate in the defense of your home. In the US, Emergency Management typically only gives one option–evacuate and hope your home survives. But today we are questioning if that is truly the only reasonable option and explore other options used in other parts of the world.

We’ll look at what you can do to make your home as defensible as possible. And we’ll even discuss our low-cost mobile fire attack unit we set up.

And to finish up, we also talk about our favorite wildland fire alert app for staying up with new and existing fires in your area.

ALSO – Don’t miss the related video Our wildfire mobile attack unit


00:00 – Intro
03:29 – Defensible Space – Protection From Heat Ignition
06:23 – Firebrands – The Real Enemy
09:03 – Shelter In Place – The Option Nobody Talks About
16:01 – Stay or Go? It’s Up To You & Your Circumstances
17:20 – Forest Management – Another Component
20:44 – Ways To Prepare Your Homestead For Wildfire
24:01 – Our Mobile Fire Attack Unit
28:47 – Basic Hand Tools
29:48 – Sprinklers – Amazing Tool If You Have Enough Water
30:57 – Our Favorite Wildland Fire Alert App

Important Links

*May be an affiliate link, which helps support this blog without costing you a penny. Thanks!


Nick: Hi there, I’m Nick Meisner.

Lisa: And I’m Lisa, his wife.

Nick: And welcome back to the ReadyLife podcast, where we show you how to make your home as independent as possible for your systems like your water system, power system, heat, and food, and basic necessities like this. And in this week’s episode, we’re going to be Talking about fire, which is a very real part of life for those of us in the West every summer.

But even for folks in the East, we hear more and more of fires in the East, wildland fires. And so it’s, it’s something that can affect any of us in a dry and hot time of year. And so we’re going to be looking at some of the things that we have. picked up over the years, some of the things that we’ve tried to implement on our homestead, and hopefully it’s helpful to you.

Lisa: And hey, if you appreciate this podcast, please give us a thumbs up or, um, comment or share this with your friends or family. We would really appreciate it.

Nick: Or leave a review on whatever podcast platform you use. That’s awesome.

Lisa: Yes. Yes, please.

Nick: But anyhow, let’s go ahead and dive in to some principles about wildland fire.

And one of the things, I know that we had quite a awakening. It was What was it? Eight years ago, I believe, when we had a very large fire that was uncomfortably close to us.

And the, the whole community was in, in an uproar, you know, over, you What it could be barreling down on us any day and we were having community meetings even in this remote area. You know, it was a lot of interest in the area because we all knew that This was a very real threat for us and it was kind of our first time to Be up close and personal with a wild land fire.

Not personal in that we were, you know, like right here on our property, but close enough to be dangerous, potentially

Lisa: Yeah, just one good little windstorm and it would have been over here.

Nick: Exactly, yeah. And so. I did a lot of looking into this and we started implementing things around our homestead around that time, especially that summer.

We kicked it into high gear. Thankfully, we haven’t had another summer that bad since then, although I will say this summer. is um,

Lisa: kind of close.

Nick: Pretty dry. We’re seeing a lot of fires popping up here and there. Thankfully, they’re getting them out quickly so far, most of them. But anyhow, an important principle, kind of one of the fundamental things when you’re thinking about your home and what you can do is the principle of defensible space.

And this is a hundred foot At least a minimum of a hundred feet between any structures and forest.

I’m not talking just your home, I’m talking structures. Because if you have a hundred feet of defensible space around your home, and then you’ve got your shop next to your home, and there’s only fifty feet of defensible space from it, then what happens if your shop catches on fire?

It’s going to catch your home on fire.

Lisa: Your house is probably gone.

Nick: Even though you had that a hundred feet of defensible space. So a hundred feet of defensible space. Um, and then the other step is three to five feet of non combustibles right around your home. Now this is pretty basic stuff. If you have spent any time in the West, you probably know all about this.

The three to five feet of non combustibles, you know, it could be rocks, you know, small gravel. It could be whatever. You just don’t want combustibles right up against your house, where it can be burning right up against your house. You want there to be a place where if anything… It’s hot, any firebrands, anything like that lands, it’s going to have nothing to work on there. Mm hmm right up against your house.

Now here’s why the defensible space thing is such a important principle. Jack Cohen, who, he’s a fellow that I started watching very closely when I started looking into this. He’s probably the foremost expert in the Forest Service on saving structures. from wildland fires. He’s done, uh, lots of, uh, on site investigations, tests, real life tests, and all kinds of things for, for years.

He worked on this, and he has proven that the heat from a wildland fire, the heat from a forest burning in a wildland fire, cannot start a house on fire as long as there’s a hundred feet of distance between that burning forest and the house. As long as there’s that much space, it cannot generate enough heat to start the house on fire with just the heat.

Now there’s other ways that the house can start on fire, but I’m, right now I’m just talking about the heat. Because if you get something hot enough, it’s going to burn.

 If If the forest is closer than 100 feet, then it is possible for the, just purely the heat to start your house on fire. But if you clear back 100 feet of defensible space, you’ve eliminated one source of ignition, a major source of ignition, and that’s a huge win. And then that leaves…

What else is our big enemy? Once we’ve cleared a hundred feet of defensible space, what are we then concerned about?

Lisa: Well, if you’ve ever had a campfire, you’ve noticed that tiny little embers come up from the campfire and float into the air and eventually cool off and land somewhere else, but if you’ve got a big raging wildland fire that’s coming through all those embers are going to be blowing their way through the prop like through your property and it’s those embers that can get caught in the right place with some good wind which wildland fires can create their own little wind storm and then bingo you’ve lost your home 

Nick: Yeah that’s true. And the fires, the embers can be blown far in advance of, of the fire. And so this is. It’s really going to be the primary means of ignition of a house if there is defensible space around it. It’s those embers that are going to be most likely to take it out. 

And these embers, they’re harmless to you, you know, pretty much harmless. They can sting, you know, if they hit your skin,

Lisa: Hurt a little bit.

Nick: But they’re not going to kill you. But they can easily burn your home down if left unchecked.

And so this, this whole thing, once I realized all this, it explains why in Australia, for instance, where they deal with a lot of fires in the bush country and elsewhere too, I suppose, but, um, why they Use the shelter in place method, which is very different than what we do here, you know here in the states

Lisa: We evacuate. 

Nick: They just want everybody out of there. Just evacuate and then the Fire service whatever agencies are working the fire they pick any structures whatever structures they think that they have the manpower To defend and that are actually defensible and then they might do some things set up some sprinklers do some things to protect those homes possibly and You just hope that your home is one of those homes that they protect and by the way This is another argument for defensible space, isn’t

Lisa: Yeah, that’s right. Because if your home is, has got really good defensible space, then the firefighters might choose to try and save your home over another home next door that probably defensible space.

So it just, factors like that can play a large role in. Um, evacuate. Right.

Nick: So, um, that’s a good thing to, to keep in mind. But you’ve got two main options here and that’s evacuate or shelter in place. We don’t here in the States, we don’t often even think about the whole shelter in place thing. So I’m going to talk about it a little bit here because it was revolutionary to me to realize that in some other countries, that’s their standard operating procedure.

I just thought it was suicide to shelter in place. But it’s actually not if you do it right. And I’m not advocating one way or the other. I just want to present both options here because we don’t get both options, most of the time here in the States.

Lisa: And we’ve had a couple of friends that sheltered in place and saved their homes.

Nick: Right. So here’s, here’s the theory behind the whole shelter in place thing. And once again, like I said, I’m not pushing, trying to push anybody one way or the other. You got to do what you’re comfortable with and what you’re prepared for. But here’s the theory. It’s that you and your home or your shelter have a symbiotic relationship.

And so before. That firewall blows through, like Lisa mentioned, all those embers going way ahead of the fire. They’re likely to ignite your house, but it doesn’t take much to put them out. 

And so even with a garden hose… I mean, like, a friend that we have, a good friend of ours, that had a huge fire blow through and he decided to stay and shelter in place, he had a reliable source of water, and that’s kind of a key thing, is you got it, because if your water source is dependent upon the power company, it’s almost a sure thing that the power lines are going down in the middle of a fire, and so, you know, You’ve got to make sure that you have a reliable water system that’s going to work even if you don’t have power from the power company.

Did I, should I make another plug for off grid power systems here?

Anyhow. Um, so if you have a reliable water system, then with many folks have done this with just a garden hose, they were able to put out those firebrands before they turn into something big on their home or right around their home. And so during this stage, the firebrands are fairly harmless to you.

But they’re lethal to your home, and so you’re able to save your home during that early stage. Then the fire gets closer, and it gets to the point where it’s no longer safe for you to be outside because it’s just getting too hot. And so, that’s the point in time at which you go into your shelter. And this is a key point of the whole shelter in place thing, is you have to have a safe place that you can go.

A… Non combustible place that is preferably underground where, you know, if I was going to shelter in place, I would want to have a shelter that would be okay, even in the worst case scenario,

Lisa: Like a root cellar, maybe, maybe,

Nick: But you’d want it to be something that would, that would keep you safe, even if your house burned down.

I mean, we’re, we’re not planning on scenario, but worst case scenario, if even if you’ve got a basement, if if the house burns down, and there’s nothing between you and the house, other than wood, then you’re going to be in a bad place.

And so, if you’re going to use a basement or something under your house, then you’d want to make sure that it had a, a non combustible roof, like a concrete.

Roof, at least in a room, something that’s going to stay cool enough and not burn and and that sort of thing, and where you’re going to have, you know, adequate air volume, able to seal it off, that kind of thing, because there’s going to be a lot of smoke everywhere, too, and you want to be able to seal it off.

So anyhow, you know, and it might look like a tornado shelter in Oklahoma. You know, if you’ve ever been to oklahoma, you see these all over the place. These mounds of earth where they built underground shelters that they can go into. Might look like that. Whatever the case, you’ve got to have a safe place where you can go.

And that’s where you’re going to go as the fire burns over. This often can happen pretty quickly. Fires are often moving pretty fast, and that fire front is moving pretty quickly. And so you wait. In there and your shelter protects you during this period of time where it would be lethal for you to be outside and then after the fire front blows down or blows through and it starts cooling off outside to where it’s now a safe temperature to go back out and you go back out and you’re going to go back to putting the

Lisa: embers out. because there’s going to have been a bunch of embers, and you’re going to want to put them out real quick.

Nick: right? Because they could still take your house out. Even if you save your house up to that point, even after the fire has moved through, there’s still going to be embers blowing around that could take your house out.

Mm hmm. And that would be a shame. 

Lisa: Gotta say though, I just, I feel like it needs to be said again, that one, one of the major key components of this is making sure you’ve got enough water that’s reliable. Cause I remember hearing stories of people who tried the whole shelter in place thing, but they were on city water and the city water got cut, turned off because the fire blew through, you know, that city or that general area, and so they, you know, they lost their power, they lost their water, and then they had to evacuate, and of course, by then, it’s just, it’s a bad time to evacuate once the fire front is barreling down on you.

Nick: Right. And this is one of the advantages of the shelter in place method. You know, everything has its pros and cons, but one of the pros of shelter in place is you avoid the hazards of evacuation, which can be very real because you don’t always have a ton of warning.

And so, yes, if you’re going to evacuate, you want to evacuate far in advance if you can.

but you don’t always have that luxury. Things happen quickly, and fires change quickly, and lots of people have died from while they were evacuating, because either they didn’t know where the fire was, or the fire changed quickly, or whatever, and they got caught out in their car,

Lisa: In the firewall. 

Nick: Which is a bad

place to be when a fire comes through.

So, um, Yes, it is an advantage of sheltering in place. There’s, there are disadvantages, there are potential hazards of sheltering in place, but that’s a big advantage, and it’s nice to have that option to shelter in place, and so that’s what the defensible space does for you, is it gives you, it’s one of the factors that gives you the option of sheltering in place, also having a survival shelter, or a Storm shelter, something, a safe place a safe where you can, where you can go, um, these kinds of things. 

So either way, you’re going to need to decide which route you’re going to go, whether you’re going to evacuate or shelter in place. You may not know, you may not be able to decide right now, you know that, but if you are considering, know that you’re going to evacuate no matter what, then make that clear in your mind and be very conservative in getting out of Dodge.

If you’re considering shelter in place, then just make sure that you have, kind of try and set some, uh, what shall I say, some key marks, or some, some waypoints where, you know, by the time things get to this point, I got to make my decision, my final decision, and then stick with it. Because you don’t want to get stuck out in the middle of a fire. 

But anyhow, um, yeah, that’s, that’s the, the theory of sheltering in place. And as I mentioned before, I’m not trying to advocate one way or the other. I just think that shelter in place is a, it’s not presented as a viable option here in the states most times.

And it’s something that’s a good option to consider and um, another factor that plays into all of this is forest management. Something that we need to work on more.

We’ve, we definitely went to work like beavers on the defensible space side of things and, and trying to get combustibles away and all of that, but it’s a much bigger job working on forest management because what are, what What’s, what are we trying to do with forest management? Well,

Lisa: Well, with the forest management, if you have thinned out your forest, besides the fact that it’s going to be healthier, you’re going to also have space between your trees, where if the fire has moved into a crown fire, um, if you’ve got, so a crown fire is when the fire is up in the tops of the trees and it’s burning, you know, all of the the branches and everything up in the tops of the trees.

As opposed to a a ground fire. As opposed to a ground fire that’s just burning in the duff on the ground and maybe lower bushes and branches and things. So, so a crown fire is very, very difficult to fight, but a ground fire is much easier to work with. So. Not that it’s easy, but with a crown fire, if you have thinned out your forest, then you’re going to drive that crown fire down into just a ground fire.

Um, where you’re going to have a much better chance of saving your home and saving your property unless you’re with extreme conditions.

Yeah, unless you’re dealing extreme conditions.

Nick: In extreme conditions, there’s probably almost no amount of thinning that’s going to keep it out of the crown of the trees, out of, from getting up in the higher parts. But if it’s, as long as it’s not extreme, then you’re giving yourself all opportunity for driving the fire down. 

Lisa: I have a friend who has, I think, 40 acres. And that’s what he was working on systematically, um, thinning his forest. So that way, if a wildfire came through, he would hopefully be able to drive it down to a ground fire where he would be able to manage it better and save his, save his homestead. Um, and sure enough, that happened.

There was a big wildfire that came through, and when it reached his property line, then he was, it was, It just drove the fire down to a ground fire, and he was able to save his home. 

Nick: He and the neighbors had decided 

to shelter in place and fight it. 

Lisa: fight it. 

Yep, they had several options for safety, places that they could shelter in place, and so Yeah, that’s what they did, and they saved all their homesteads working together that way.

So Yeah, thinning your forest is not only healthy for your forest, but it also, um, it will help protect you against really bad crown fire wildfires.

Nick: It can, and it’s healthy for your forest too, because if you thin properly, I know in, in logging circles, thinning probably means taking the best trees and leaving the ones that aren’t so great, but we’re actually talking about thinning the ones that aren’t so great and leaving your best trees. And then they just grow bigger and healthier and they’ve got more space.

They’re not being choked out and all of that. So it’s, it can be beneficial all the way around.

Yes. And much safer. 

Lisa: And much safer. Yeah. So.

Nick: So, what are some ways, just kind of trying to summarize all of this, what are some ways that we can help to protect our homestead, to prepare our homestead in advance? What are some things that we can do now to get us ahead of…

Lisa: Yeah. So, I mean, obviously we’ve already mentioned defensible space. We, we’ve kind of mentioned that more than several times, but 100 feet. 

Creating that 100 feet defensible minimum. More is better. Yeah, obviously. Um, but creating that defensible space around your, your home is going to really go a long ways in helping Protect against a wildland fire.

Nick: Whether you, whether you evacuate or shelter in place. It’s something that you want to do either way.

Lisa: and then of course having that 3-5 feet of non-combustibles right against your home. Right. Um, yeah. I know it looks pretty, but don’t do it.

Nick: Well, there’s some decent landscaping you can do with rocks and that’s true Like that. that true.

So another thing would be storm shelter of some kind. It’s just got, you’ve got to have a safe place that you can go while the fire blows over if you’re sheltering in place, even if you’re not sheltering in place. If you get caught in a pickle where there’s a fire that catches and you can’t get out. It’s a really good idea to have a safe place that you can go to get away from it.

Preferably something underground would be ideal. You know, if you know what you’re doing, perhaps a great big open field, but even that, you kind of need to know what you’re doing because You are going to need to clear it down to bare ground or burn the grass around and that can, yeah, there’s a lot. Starting fires is a, not a good idea usually.

So all that to say I like the underground idea the best and that’s what I would want if, um, if I was going to shelter in place. I’d want to be, feel confident that I have a place that I could go even if the worst case scenario happens.

Lisa: Yes. And when we rebuild, um, our home, that’s one of the things we want to build is a basement with a concrete floor.

Yeah. Yeah, roof over it, so. Yeah, and then also I mentioned, and I can’t stress this enough, make sure you have enough water. And then once you think you have enough water, get a whole bunch extra, just because you plow through water so much faster than you might think you will. And you can never have too much water,

Nick: And that’s, that’s something that we need to work on ourselves is having more water storage for fire. And that could be, yes, it could be in the form of cisterns and tanks and things like that, but it could also be in the form of a pond. If you have a potential spot on your property where it would be a good candidate for a pond.

Then you can store a lot of water in a pond and as long as you can keep it filled with water, then that makes a huge reservoir that’s relatively inexpensive, all things considered. So that’s, that’s a good idea. 

Another thing that, that we have done is a mobile attack unit on our our truck.

And this is, we’re in a remote location, and the, the idea was, thankfully I haven’t had to use it so far, but the idea was that if we had a nearby lightning strike, let’s say, where it was, everything was dry, and we got some dry lightning, struck a tree, and there’s a little fire there, it’s, it’s next to nothing, and if I were to jump on it, get it out very easily with a little bit of water, no danger or anything.

But if it was left for a couple of hours, it could blow up into something much bigger. And so the idea is, was to have that capability. So I’ve got a, a 350 gallon tank that goes on the back of my truck. It’s a 2500 HD truck and I have a fire pump set up.

All that, where I can just load it up in the back of the truck, got 350 gallons of water there that I could go and put something out.

Now, just saying, I’m not talking about going out and becoming a one man fire department trying to attack a wildland fire. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about something that has just started, it’s super small, and it could very easily be put out. Um, In that kind of a scenario, I would want to jump on it.

I’ve seen, forgive me if you work for the Forest Service, I’m not meaning to offend you, but I’ve seen too many instances of the Forest Service ignoring, intentionally not putting out fires that turned into major problems. That fire eight years ago that was near us, we know the man, he’s a friend of ours, who’s a heavy equipment operator, and He saw where the fire started when it was still small, he had his, he was carded for the Forest Service, so he was fully certified to do this kind of work, he called it in and he said, Can I put it out? And they told him no, he could not put it out. 

And he it was small enough. He I could have just easily put it out. He said, I had my equipment right there and everything, nope.

And it turned into this mammoth fire that if, if conditions had gone wrong, it could have burned up our whole valley and thousands of, at least hundreds of probably thousands of homes. I don’t know. 

Anyhow, all that to say, I’ve kind of lost faith in the system sorry guys, yeah, not really. I’m not sorry. It’s this is the way it is. And, um, so if, if there’s something that it’s feasible for me to put it out rather than waiting. Um, yes, you can call it in after you put it out if you want, and so they can come and mop up.

But you know, that’s just my thing. Do whatever you want, but that’s, that’s my, that’s where I’m coming from with the mobile attack unit.

Lisa: Well, and another thing, too, having a mobile attack unit, it’s really a smart idea. If you live out in a country where, um, you know, if you have a fire that gets out of hand, maybe you’re burning a slash pile or you have a little campfire or something and something goes sideways on you, having that mobile attack unit right on hand is just smart because, sure, you can call for help, but if you live out in the country like we do, it’s going to be a while before they get here and by the time they get here, it’s too late.

Nick: Yeah, it takes time to respond, especially when there’s a lot of fires around, because resources are stretched thin. I know I was giving the, the conspiratorial view of this, because I’ve become a little bit cynical after seeing this happen. 

Lisa: Especially when we saw that happen. That was just like, what? 


Nick: But even setting all of that aside. There are a lot of times when resources are stretched thin and it’s just. You know, it’s going to take time before anybody can come out. So, that’s, um, that’s a little bit about the mobile attack unit. 

I might just, um, put out a little video on that. So keep an eye on our youTube channel. And in the coming days or weeks, I might just post something on what that looks like if you want to see. And… perhaps build one yourself. I’ll try and put some links in the show notes page to the pump. I really like our pump and I picked up fire hose on craigslist and, um, foam also. It’s some foam agent that you can mix in with water and it makes it way more effective when you’re spraying it and stuff like that.

So anyhow, um, interesting stuff, but don’t forget about the basics. 

Lisa: Yeah, true. That’s true. So, basic hand tools, um, you can use to make a fire line around your home or around something. To stop the fire getting

Nick: In that scenario of the lightning strike that struck tree , you know, it, it, there are situations where it just doing a simple fire line. Getting the, the, uh, a line, uh, trail, you might say, where you’re getting down to mineral earth, where there’s nothing to burn, um, just a place to stop the fire. And of course, the bigger the fire it is, the bigger the fire line needs to be. Um, but things like, um, you know, shovels, picks, Pulaski’s, chainsaws, axes are all, invaluable for that sort of thing.

Lisa: Of course, if you can get a tractor or a dozer in there, I mean, yeah, you can put it out really quick.

Nick: Right. So, and another thing I wanted to mention is sprinklers. 

If you have enough water to support sprinklers for a number of hours before and after a fire comes through, there have been numerous instances where sprinklers have shown to be invaluable in protecting homes, where the owners even evacuated.

They would start the pump, start the sprinklers, and then evacuate, and the sprinklers can do a remarkable job. 

Lisa: put all those embers out. Yeah,

Nick: Where they’re spraying on your house. And right around your house. And so if they’re strategically placed, that can be really awesome. And the foam that I mentioned, that I was able to get a hold of, I think you can buy it online too, probably.

But if you have a foaming nozzle, you could potentially spray it. I’ve heard of Forest Service doing that on houses where they’d spray multiple inches thick on a house, and it will hang in there for a little while. So if you do it just at the right time, this could be a blanket of foam over a house that can help protect it. Things like that.

Lisa: Maybe while you’re sheltering in place and the firewall’s going over. 

Nick: yeah. Possibly. Yeah. Anyway.

Um, communications.

Oh, yeah. There’s this app. There’s a number of apps that are really helpful, but my favorite one right now is called Watch Duty. And this Watch Duty app is really cool in that you can program in what counties you’re interested in. And then any fires that are reported, it will send you an alert saying this fire has popped up. Anytime there’s an update, it can send you an alert. And that’s a good way to keep on top of things. 

Lisa: Also, Also, we signed up for, um, it’s called Nixle, where, um, it, they’ll send us, um, communiques from the sheriff’s department. 

The local sheriff’s department. So that’s always helpful too.

Nick: Right. I don’t know if Nixle is a nationwide thing or if it’s just in our area, but I think most, a lot of EMS uh, departments or sheriff’s departments have some means where you can sign up for text message alerts, and that’s super helpful to get alerts if, if things come down, because they’ll be texting out when there’s evacuation orders and things like this, that would be really helpful to know.

Also, reliable communications with any family members that are often away from the house. So if one of you works in town, then you’d want to have. a reliable means of being able to communicate in a emergency, whatever that looks like. It’s hard to say because it just depends on distance and topography, but two way radios, um, you know, something through a repeater, or I’ve heard of some people using satellite text messaging type apparatuses, um, all sorts of different options out there.

But just be thinking of that, and…

Lisa: Yeah, just some final thoughts on dealing with wildland fires.

This is something we’ve talked a lot about, is to have a very clear plan in place ahead of time, so you know what you’re supposed to do, and make sure that everyone in the family is on the same page. Because you want to, you want to make sure that if a fire does come through, you’re caught by surprise, everyone can jump into action and know right where to go or right what to do. 

Where’s the safe place? Um, where’s the safe place? Or if you need to evacuate, have that plan in place. Go turn the sprinklers on, go, you know, grab this, let’s get into car. Um,

Just have a plan and make sure that as a family, you’ve communicated what that plan is and maybe even, um, like, what do they call that, where you do drills, you know, do a family fire drill.

Nick: Yep, and have multiple escape routes if possible. I really like having multiple ways to get out. It’s one thing I like about our place is we’ve got all kinds of different ways that we could go. 

If you, if there really is only one way in and out of your place, then that’s, that’s not ideal. And that’s going to, that would make me be a lot more conservative. Also I’d be a lot more serious about having a safe place that you could hunker down in. And, you know. Um, yeah, that, that’s a really important thing of having multiple escape routes. 

But, having said that, don’t wait until the last minute to evacuate. If you’re going to evacuate, then do it plenty in advance if at all possible. and, you know, if, you’re going to do the shelter in place thing, make sure that you do it right. Don’t do it unless you are set up properly.

Do your homework, make sure that you’re really confident about your safe place. You’ve got all your ducks in a row.

And if you do, it can be done. They do it in Australia all the time. There’s folks that do it here, like you experienced friends of, um, of ours that have done that, multiple friends of ours, actually, but you just want to make sure that you do it right, and if you don’t have your ducks in a row yet, then don’t shelter in place.

For instance, right now, I would not shelter in place here because we don’t have a safe place to go. And so I know I’ve been kind of presenting the case for shelter in place, but I also want to present this side of it, that if you don’t have your ducks in a row, then don’t go that option unless you’re backed into it.

Lisa: Yep.

Nick: Anyhow, I hope that’s been helpful to you. You know, fires are a part of life for many of us, but with just like anything else in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And so the goal is to put a little thought and work into it now, so that if something does pop up, you don’t need to be panicked.

And can take, uh, appropriate action and, um, make sure that your family is as safe as possible. 

if you enjoy this podcast, we’d really encourage you to share, like, uh, comment. Leave a review, but especially share it with your friends. Send them a text message, an email, them about the podcast and, and, um, what it’s done for you.

You know, the, what you’ve learned and that helps the word to get out where our labors on this, uh it does take work and our labors won’t be in vain if it’s able to help others. So we appreciate you joining though. And we’re looking forward to talking with you next time.

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1 Comment

  1. Joe

    Good job Nick and Lisa. That was well presented, accurate and obviously well researched. Defensible space, coupled with a proper fire pump like you’ve purchased and a little knowledge about fire behavior is a good combination for any homestead and gives you options.

    Our homestead fire plan was put to the test when overnight high winds kindled a fire from an old burn pile that had been extinguished (or so we thought) three days prior. Because we had a fire pump much like yours, 1.5-inch hose, water and a little know-how, we were able to extinguish the blaze that had already gotten into the trees and brush by the time we discovered it.

    Our remote location meant that this fire would have spread far had we not been able to jump on it right away with ample water and enough 1.5-inch hose to reach all around the fire. A garden hose would have been totally insufficient. We needed big water and we needed it fast. Our fire pump and supply of fire hose paid for itself that night.

    Fire can happen at any time, it’s not just a summer time issue. Our fire happened in early winter. Even though we already had some rain, the high winds dried things out enough for this fire to get going.

    Don’t forget to have safety clothing at the ready. Leather gloves, 100% cotton long sleeve shirt and pants, good eye protection and something to cover your head will help protect you from radiant heat and blowing embers.

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