Shopper insert - Firewise

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FireWise Minnesota

You could lose your home to a wildfire. Prepare your home, family, and community for survival.

Beware and prepare to reduce the threat of wildfire to your home. This checklist will help you identify ways to reduce home and property wildfire hazards and to prepare your family and neighbors for the event of wildfire.

Create a 30- to 100-foot defensible space around your home. Within this area take steps to reduce potential exposure to flames and falling embers. Homes built in pine forests should have a minimum defensible space of 100 feet.

  • Rake all leaves, dead limbs, and twigs. Clear all flammable vegetation.
  • Thin a 15-foot space between pine and spruce tree crowns and prune up lower limbs within 6' to 10' of the ground - eliminate the fire ladder!
  • Remove wild brush and tall grass within 30 feet of structures.
  • Ask the power company to clear branches from powerlines.
  • Remove vines from the walls of the home.
  • Mow and water grass regularly.
  • Manage the pine-spruce forest around your home through regular thinning harvests.
  • Clear a 10-foot space around propane tanks.
  • Do not dispose ashes until they are "cold out".
  • Stack firewood at least 30 feet from any structure.
  • Store gasoline, oily rags, and other flammable materials in approved safety cans.
  • Regularly clean roof and gutters of leaves and needles.
  • Inspect your chimney at least twice a year.
  • Screen in or skirt openings under decks and mobile homes.
  • Use fire-resistant building and roofing materials.
  • Be sure your driveway is at least 14 feet wide. Trim overhanging branches. Create a turnout.
  • Can an ambulance get in your driveway and to your home?
  • Be sure your house number is clearly visible from the road.
  • Do you have smoke detectors and are they working?

For more information:

Contact your local DNR Forestry office or call 1-888-MINNDNR and visit the Firewise website at