Who is Reddy Squirrel?
Reddy Squirrel is your neighbor. Her family has lived in these wildlands for ages, and she understands the rhythms of nature. She knows that fire can be a frequent and unannounced visitor to her natural home.
Recently, Reddy has come to share her wildland home with people just like you. She welcomes you with a playful dance on the limbs of her favorite tree. Her life can seem carefree, but she is always aware of her surroundings. She prepares for difficult times by hiding nuts to eat during the hungry winter and nesting high in trees where she is safe from many natural dangers. But she can’t do it alone. Neighbors help each other, and Reddy asks that you help her to be ready when fire visits your neighborhood.
She knows, too, that it’s easy to put off a few simple chores that might save your home, but asks—for the good of the neighborhood and the protection of your family and brave local firefighters—that you take the time to make your home wildfire safe. Be ready!
Recent research shows that 85 to 95 percent of houses burned in wildfires could have been saved with a few simple precautions by the owner.
Just because you live in town doesn’t mean your home isn’t at risk. Suburban and urban areas were once wildlands and in many places the landscape is still likely to burn under the right conditions.
How forests are managed by federal, state and local agencies has little to do with whether or not private homes burn in wildfires, according to federal wildfire studies.
About 900 homes burn in wildfires every year.
Reddy Squirrel asks homeowners to plan for fire by creating defensible space within 100 feet of their homes and by building with fire resistant materials.
Creating defensible space doesn’t mean leveling the trees around your home. Rather, it means managing flammable vegetation (trimming low limbs from firs and pines), collecting dead vegetation such as pine needles and dry leaves and landscaping with nprojects/on-flammable plants (such as hardwood trees).
Reddy Squirrel also asks homeowners to build or remodel with non-flammable materials, such as metal or tile roofing. In fact, building with or replacing a shake roof with a non-flammable roofing material is one of the most effective ways of helping your home to survive wildfire.