Think about fire as summer cools down |

Think about fire as summer cools down

Gene WelchGuest column

Are you prepared to use your woodstove or fireplace? The pine trees are once again depositing pine needles on our roofs and in our yards. Our nights are getting cooler and some folks are firing up their wood-burning appliances. Keep in mind that the wildland fire season is far from over despite the cooler weather. Keep your guard up and be prepared to protect your property.Keep the pine needles from accumulating on your roof, deck and next to your home. Keep them raked back at least 2 to 5 feet from the sides of your house and deck. Dont allow pine needles to get more than 1 to 2 inches deep for an additional 30 feet around your house. As you prepare to store your firewood for the upcoming heating season, stack it at least 30 feet from your home. If the it is stacked uphill from your house, make sure that burning firewood cannot roll downhill and ignite your home.Before you start using your wood burning appliances this year, make sure your roof is clear of debris, and that your chimney is clean. Keep a metal container with a tight fitting lid to put your ashes in as you empty out your wood stove or fireplace. Keep the ashes in the pail for at least three days before disposing of them. Hot embers in ashes can ignite the material in your trash can or in the waste disposal truck. Never place them in grocery bags or boxes to transport or store them.Truckee Fire Protection District is dedicated to helping you enjoy your time in our community and in keeping you and your property safe. If you have any questions relating to fire safety please call 582-7853 for more information or visit us at our office, 10049 Donner Pass Road. You can find information on our Web site,, or ask us questions via e-mail.Gene Welch is the public safety & information officer for the Truckee Fire Protection District.