New Fire Study: Why Some Homes Burn

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Institute for Business and Home Safety took a hard look at nearly three-thousand homes in the area burned in the Witch Creek fire last year.  Julie Rochman heads up the group, that’s funded by the insurance industry:
“We went in and interviewed all of those homeowners whose houses were left standing and without exception, the reason their house survived and their neighbors did not was because they had done the right things.  They had taken proactive steps to protect their homes against wildfire.”
Steps like having a fire-resistant roof…or cleaning off debris like pine needles that can catch fire.  And clearing brush and dead vegetation from around their homes – known as defensible space. 

The report found that houses closer together – less than 15 feet apart – were more likely to burn in clusters.   It also noted that most homes burned because of flying embers…not direct contact with flames.  A Cal-Fire spokesman says the findings validate what they’ve been telling Californians about making their homes
fire safe.