Lehigh Acres fire chief shows how to protect your home during dry season

Reporter: Sydney Persing
Published: Updated:

The dry season is upon us and firefighters in Lehigh Acres are stopping by homes to see what potential danger exists. With parts of Southwest Florida abnormally dry, following the guidelines are now imperative.

Assistant Lehigh Acres Fire Chief Ralph Ketron has got places to go because it is the dry season. His mission is to help you better protect your home better.

“Vegetation is the fire’s fuel,” Ketron said. “Anything could start a brush fire. It could be a cigarette, ATV.”

Ketron took WINK News along for a ride, showing us what makes a “fire-safe” home. An immediate concern is creating a defendable space. There should be at least 30 feet of clear area around your home. Without that access, it becomes a fire hazard for first responders.

Along our ride, a house that was just feet away from a brush fire on Monday. It is in perfect shape. Only burnt grass was seen several feet from the house.

“Since the yard was well-maintained,” Ketron said, “it didn’t give the opportunity for the fire to really spread.”

Ketron checked out how many feet of dependable space it has and it was just right. Enough to save lives, should the disaster had been worse. But it is more than having a clean yard. It is imperative to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. And, if you are told to evacuate, listen and get out.

“Have an evacuation plan in place,” said Katie Heck, with Lehigh Fre Dept. “That property can always be replaced. What we can’t replace is you or your loved ones’ lives.”

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