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This reflective metal sign found in the Tanglewood Community in Union County is a good example of what Firewise prescribes. Signs made of wood or other combustible materials can burn up. Non reflective signs make it difficult for fire fighters to find their way in dense smoke or at night. Precious time may be lost if fire fighters, or ambulance personnel, canít identify the quickest way to your house. Photo- Leon Konz


This reflective metal sign found in the Tanglewood Community in Union County is a good example of what Firewise prescribes. Signs made of wood or other combustible materials can burn up. Non reflective signs make it difficult for fire fighters to find their way in dense smoke or at night. Precious time may be lost if fire fighters, or ambulance personnel, canít identify the quickest way to your house. Photo- Leon Konz


Not all types of house walls are equally flame resistant. The best ones are brick, stone, stucco, and siding made of concrete. Vinyl siding melts if too much heat is applied. Wooden siding is relatively flammable. Photo- Nathan Waters


The typical structural fire engine may not be able to drive up to this house due to the steepness and narrowness of the road. It is best to consider fire engine capabilities in the design stage of homes and communities. Photo- Leon Konz


This fire engine was responding to a wildfire, but could not get there. The steepness of the road exceeded the power of the engine. As it drove up this steep road, it slowed down more and more to the point that the engine just quit. The engine then lost its brakes and rolled backwards into the ditch. Photo- Nathan Waters


It is best to not have a gas cylinder close to the structure in case it gets heated and starts to vent gas. It is recommended to have large cylinders 50 feet from the house; burying is also a good solution. Photo- Leon Konz


Notice where the bottom of the lattice meets the foundation- thereís about a foot or so of it missing. Dead vegetation that had accumulated under it caught fire and ignited it. Fortunately, a fire department was present to put it out. Photo- Nathan Waters


Roadways like this could easily become impassible during wildfires due to extreme heat. Ideally, residents living along this road would have another way out, too, or they could end up being trapped. Cutting back this flammable rhododendron would improve their chances of having a safe exit under wildfire conditions. Communities built in the wildlands are safest when there are two ways to get in and out. Photo- Leon Konz


Communites built away from towns frequently lack a pressurized hydrant system to protect their homes. A low-cost alternative is a dry hydrant that taps into a nearby pondís water supply to resupply engines. This dry hydrant is in the community of Saddle Ridge in Blount County. Photo- Leon Konz


Firefighters valiantly tried to save these structures, but lost the battle. Strong winds in combination with highly flammable pine fuel and structure-to-structure ignition created conditions causing fire fighters to abandon the structures at times to ensure their own safety. Photo- Nathan Waters


It is recommended to have at least 30 feet between structures to reduce the chances of one structure igniting the next one. Failing to follow this guideline could result in a scene like this. Photo- Nathan Waters
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