Tom McMackin

So – it’s 18°F outside and lightly snowing. What’s a person to do… ? Stay in and make use of the internet! Here are a few Firewise suggestions for your education and entertainment! If you have questions on the Firewise program or about preparing your property or evacuation list, please contact me for assistance. 

Articles to check out:

Videos to check out:

Home Improvement: A Firewise Approach           15:42

Firewise – Protecting Your Home [ Minnesota ]   14:51

Your Home Can Survive a Wildfire                13:19

Things to do for Winter /Early Spring:

Maintain [or Expand] your Firewise buffer (defensible) zones

**Do a 360 ° walk-around and create a list of defensibility things you can do… 0-5’/5-30’/30-100’/100’ +

**Identify evergreens needing pruning! Ideally you’ve already done it. If not, do before the end of January!

**Plan for clearing up the little stuff! Take note of the places leaves and other natural debris come to rest in the nooks and crannies around your home and outbuildings. Clear up what you can and make a note to revisit those trouble spots with your Spring chores.


**Develop your plan for evacuation! Now is the time to create an action plan you can execute in the Spring.

Check the evacuation planning resources mentioned previously in this article. Figure out NOW… what you can do in Spring…so you are ready to load all the basic and important items you’ve prepared into your vehicle and head to safety when a wildfire threatens the community and the evacuation order comes. 

**Walk around your home/barn/shop and take pictures of what you have in place! As part of that evacuation planning, using your cell phone camera or other imaging device, create a visual record of your property. It will serve you well in two ways. First, as you look through the images, you can identify valuable items or other things of importance to be on your ‘Goes with me…‘ list. Secondly, it may be your best reference for property claims to your insurance company in the event you suffer losses due to a wildfire or other catastrophic event.


You can contact me by email at or by phone message by calling 509-365-2786. 

Online resources: 

Firewise –  or

Ready, Set, Go! –  or 

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