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High Country RC&D: Fire prevention workshops

High Country RC&D speaks fire prevention

In the aftermath of recent fires, many people may be wondering what precautions can be used against these kind of disasters.

The High Country Resource Conservation and Development Council invited surrounding communities to the its Wildlife Safe, Sound and Code Smart workshops Thursday.

The council hopes to get people thinking before a wildfire becomes a threat. With more people moving to the beautiful mountain ranges and open land, its no secret why the council is worried.

Division Chief David Coffey described resident behavior best.

"You know everyone wants nature in their back yard." he said.

Although nice trees and shrubs may make for a relaxing atmosphere, firefighters say it's just more fuel. Which makes it hard to prevent fires, let alone aid from firefighters in salvaging any of your property.

"It's just prime to burn. It really puts us behind the eight ball when it does catch on fire." said Coffey.

Local agencies like the High Country RC&D want to do more than warn residents.

They plan to host a series of workshops starting Sept. 10 to educate the community on fire prevention.

"We believe there are things that we can do in advance of the emergency that will help make it easier to address when it happens," said Bonneville County Commissioner Dave Radford.

The Idaho Falls Fire Department says it's in cooperation with the local agencies because it all boils down to one thing.

"They're trying to get the same message out there to these homeowners: to make sure we have defensible space, that they're well prepared, that they're educated. Together we can get through this," said Coffey.

He also said the best way to prepare your home is to 1) Keep 30 feet or more of your land clear. 2) Make sure there aren't any trees close to your home. 3) Consider installing a sprinkler system to keep your yard saturated.

The workshops will include wildland fire statistics, building codes, a fire-equipment demonstration and local action plans. 

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