No forest fires that I know of burning right now. We have a relatively short fire season, but it does get pretty intense from time to time. I think the best thing for fire protection is adhering to the "defensible space" concept of keeping a wide area clear of flammable materials around your home. The more lush green growth that stays that way the better.
I acknowledge that eventually my place out in the desert is going to burn. So my fire strategy is to arrange things so that hopefully the cabin survives the fire...
My rules are about like this:
No leaf litter laying on or around the cabin. Areas where leaf litter collects are the same areas where burning embers will collect. So no gables on the roof. And no rain gutters... As much as I would like to collect the rainwater I'd prefer to minimize fire risk.
All exterior surfaces need to be non flammable. (Aluminum or cement)
Bare dirt within 5 feet in every direction from the cabin. Maintained diligently. This is to avoid the fire directly touching the cabin.
No trees, shrubbery, or dead wood within 33 feet of the cabin. This is the distance where a tree can burn without setting the curtains on fire from radiant heat.
Between 33 feet and 100 feet of the cabin: Trees pruned of any branches lower than 6 feet. No shrubbery growing under the canopy of a tree. Trees spaced no closer than 20 to 30 feet to each other.
I'd love to do a controlled burn, but the danger seems way too high.
Does anyone have any data for the number of forest fires/year and where they were located by region? I know that the south has more fires, and that's where I see most of the information, and the 1910 fire.
Also, does anyone have any information about beetles? Are they a problem?
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.