These days, thanks in part to the effect of global warming on the environment, wildfires are becoming a way of life, particularly a concern in rural areas and suburban areas close to forests.
Wildfires can be devastating, not only to your woodland and property but to your cottage as well. Many rural homes, cottages and camps are surrounded by trees and forests, which can become raging infernos under the right conditions.
We used to refer to these as ‘forest fires’ and still do, although the term ‘wildfire’ is becoming more predominant, particularly with fires that spread quickly, and involve areas where more than just forest land is affected.
It’s important to mention that April and May are probably the worst months for forest fires/wildfires for a couple of reasons:
1) Property owners are cleaning up from the winter months, sometimes having outdoor fires to burn up the old vegetation, branches etc, left over from the winter. Some folks also still believe in burning grass in the Spring, which often leads to fires that get out of control quickly.
2) In the early Spring, the majority of the vegetation doesn’t have much moisture content, making it susceptible to fire and sometimes quite flamable. Once the leaves come out, and the grass turns green, the risk of fire is reduced, although not eliminated. Cottagers are particularly susceptible to wildfires because of the location of our camps and cottages in wooded areas. Therefore it’s important to be aware of the dangers of wildfires and what you can do to prevent wildfires in the first place and if necessary, minimize the damage to your cottage if one should occur in your area.
Remember, with the right conditions, fire can spread quickly and be difficult to put out once it gets out of control.
Here is a link to a checklist to help you protect your cottage from fire. Is Your Home Fire Smart?