From the elderly couple who broke down in tears when they returned to find a pile of rubble where their home once stood, to the countless stories about brave and heroic neighbors, farmers, ranchers, veterans and complete strangers, wildfires make headlines.

“We didn’t have a chance to react. It was here, and we got out with the clothes on our back. All of our memories, everything is gone,” 70-year-old Martha Grimm tells the Associated Press’ Brian Skoloff and Kristin J. Bender.

The good news is that last year, the incidence of wildfires was lower than the year before. The bad news? From January through April of this year, 2017, there were nearly 3,000 more fires than in the same time period in 2016, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Wildfire Season In The Upstate Is Here!!

Forestry Commission firefighters respond to more than 3,000 wildland fires burning about 20,000 acres per year; 98% of the wildland fires are caused by human activities. Fire departments respond to more than 20,000 grass, brush, woods, or rubbish fires per year.

What is wildfire?

Think back to that firefighter that visited your elementary school class. During his or her address, the talk most likely centered around the fire triangle – the three elements necessary for a fire to “live.” These include oxygen, fuel (flammable materials such as dry grassland, brush, trees and homes) and a source of heat (campfire, the sun, lightning and cigarettes, for example).

When all three elements converge, in a susceptible area, a wildfire breaks out. The more fuel there is, the more intense the flames will be and the hotter and faster the fire moves.

“Even before the flames of a wildfire arrive at a particular location, heat transfer from the wildfire front warms the air to 800 °C (1,470 °F),” according to Doug Knowling, author of “Ecological Restoration: Wildfire Ecology Reference Manual.” Can you imagine what 1,470 degrees feels like? This extreme temperature dries out flammable materials, causing them to ignite faster and the fire to spread more quickly.

Knowling says that wildfires in forests move about 6.7 miles-per-hour while those in grasslands spread at a rate of 14 miles-per-hour. Not understanding how quickly a fire moves is the reason so many victims are caught off-guard, and, unprepared.

Protect your family and your home from wildfire season in the Upstate

Before chalking up recent blazes to climate change, understand that the most devastating fires in our country’s history occurred in the late 18th century (the Great Peshtigo Fire) in Wisconsin and the early 19th centuries (the “Great Fire of 1910”) in Idaho, Montana and Washington.

What has changed since then is that we have more information about wildfires and how to protect ourselves. Readyforwildfire.org suggests these three preliminary steps:

Prepare your home for wildfire season in the Upstate by:

  • Ridding your landscape of combustible materials to within 5-feet of it. Use brick, gravel or concrete instead. Remove tree branches that overhang the deck and house. Ensure there is no dry or dead vegetation.
  • Consider replacing your siding with noncombustible siding. Otherwise, ensure that there is a 6-inch ground-to-siding clearance,” according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Safety.
  • Maintain your roof by consistently removing debris. Hot embers love the stuff.
  • Do the same with gutters – keep them clear of debris during fire season.
  • Replace wood fences with noncombustible materials.
  • Install 1/8-inch metal mesh over roof vents.
  • Close the windows when fire threatens.
  • Don’t forget the deck. Those boards are combustible. . .maintain that defensible space mentioned in the first step.

For a more detailed list of ways to protect your home from wildfire season in the Upstate – visit disastersafety.org.

The months of June through September of 2017 have been designated wildfire season, according to the U.S. government’s National Interagency Fire Center. Last year, wildfires simultaneously raged across seven states.

Take steps now to protect your family and your home from the wildfire season in the Upstate

 

 

 

Are you a homeowner in Greenville, SC? Have you decided to sell your home in the real estate market or considering it? If so and you haven’t chosen a top Greenville Realtorcontact me and we can discuss your real estate needs and determine whether us working together would be beneficial or not.

About the Author: The above article “It’s wildfire season in the Upstate – are you ready?” was provided by Andrew Carper. Mr. Carper is a top Greenville Realtor who was born in Taylors, South Carolina and has grown up in this area his entire life.  He is a Realtor and Appraiser who has been studying Greenville Smart Home Features. Andrew is the founder of SearchGreenville and also a full-time professional Realtor with Elizabeth Carper Real Estate. Established in 1971, the Carper’s have helped many people buy and sell throughout the Greenville County area for years! If you are in the market to BUY or SELL a home and would like his expert advice, he can be reached via email at andrew@carperrealestate.com or by phone at 864-304-0040. Let’s connect!

Are you thinking of selling your home? I am very good at breaking down the numbers for better marketing of YOUR home to sell quickly, and for more money. I have a real passion for helping folks buy and sell homes here in the great Palmetto State and would love to connect with you!

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Greenville areas and neighborhoods: Greenville, Taylors, Greer, Travelers Rest, Pelham, Augusta Rd., Five Forks, Simpsonville, Welcome, and Mauldin. Other specialty areas include Spartanburg and the Duncan areas.

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Additional Links For Greenville Real Estate :

 

South Carolina Forestry Commission – Wildfire Season In The Upstate

3 Questions About Greenville Value-Boosting Home Characteristics – Greenville Real Estate

Greenville Real Estate Terms Explained – Wildfire Season In The Upstate

Green Features: Can They Help Sell A House? – Wildfire Season In The Upstate

High Tech Home Automation Upgrades – Wildfire Season In The Upstate

Vivint Smart Home Security – Greenville Smart Home Features

Buying A Greenville Condo With an FHA-Backed Loan – Greenville Real Esatte