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Protecting your home against wildfires | News

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Protecting your home against wildfires
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Arkansas Forestry Commission has fought 206 fires in July that burned close to 4,000 acres. Those fires burned 15 buildings and threatened nearly 150.

While the price tag isn't officially tallied yet, it could land somewhere in the hundreds of thousands of dollars a day, covering everything from manpower to diesel and those planes working overhead.

Last week the wildfire danger was 'extreme' and while the rating has been decreased to 'high', forecasters say don't expect that lower rating to last very long.

If you are concerned about protecting your home from wildfires, the Arkansas Forestry Commission's FireWise program offers these long term safety tips:

-Create a survival zone "defensible space" of 30 to 300 feet around your home.
-Remove branches that overhang the roof, providing 6-8 feet of clearance.
-Be sure gutters, roof and valleys are clear of leaves.
-Choose drought resistant plants.
-Remove flammable items stored under decks or porches.
-Keep firewood piles, propane tanks and other flammable items at least 30 feet from your home, deck or porch.

Communities and fire departments can earn state and national recognition by participation in the FireWise program and fire departments can become eligible for grants. By using FireWise construction techniques and landscaping techniques, both old and new buildings can be FireWise. For tips on protecting your home from wildfire, visit www.arkansasfirewise.com

To view current burn bans and wildfire danger ratings, visit www.arkansasforestry.org. To report a wildfire, call the Arkansas Forestry Commission Dispatch Center at 1-800-468-8834, or 911.

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