IHPOASilver City, NM 
Indian Hills Property Owners Association

Fire Safety

Indian Hills is situated in a wildland-urban interface in an arid climate where wildland fires occur relatively frequently.  Consequently, we should be aware that our surroundings are susceptible to fire, and we should take precautions to limit damage to our home and property if a fire would occur in our subdivision. The Quail Ridge Fire in March, 2011, that went through the Silver Acre subdivision south of town is an example close to home that emphasizes this point. That fire consumed over 1700 acres of grassland and destroyed over 60 structures including 13 homes. However, approximately 75 homes that were in the direct path of the fire survived - undoubtedly because those homeowners had taken some of the proper precautions. A few of the types of precautions that homeowners can take are reviewed below. A number of websites: www.wildlandfires.org , www.firewise.org , www.disastersafety.org/wildfire/  http://fireadapted.org   present a number of precautions and activities as well as videos that are useful in preparing your home to be as fire-safe as possible.

A home within one mile of a wildland is in what is called the “ember zone”. This means wind driven embers can be spread and start fires far from the flames of the wildland fire. If embers land on dead leaves or grass they can ignite them. If embers are blown into openings in the eaves or roof vents that are not grated, they can ignite material there.

In order to protect your home from fire and its damage, there are two major areas to consider:

  • a)    Produce a hardened  home – fire resistant materials should be used in the  construction of the home, particularly the roof, eaves and vents as well as balconies and  decks.
  • b)    Create a defensible space around the home – in an area extending 30 feet out from buildings, flammable material should be removed: this includes dead vegetation, wood piles, and propane tanks. Dead grass should be cut. Tree branches should be pruned to be 10 feet above the ground. Dead leaves and needles should be removed from roofs and decks.

In addition, preparations should be made to allow evacuation of the home if that is required by fire personnel. This should include having an evacuation plan for members of the family and maintaining an emergency supply kit that includes important papers that can be picked up in a timely manner to allow speedy evacuation. 

More complete information for anti-fire preparation can be found in the websites cited above.

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