Fire Wise Minnesota


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Are You Firewise?

Defend your home from wildfire by following these basic FireWise tips. FireWise Space
  • Thin out continuous evergreen tree and brush cover to create a ‘defensible space’ of 30-feet around structures. Evergreen trees should be spaced 25 to 30 feet apart. This will reduce the ability of fires to spread from treetop to treetop.
  • Dispose of all limbs and debris left from thinning by either chipping, hauling away, composting or by piling for burning during the winter.
  • Remove dead limbs, needles, and other ground litter within your ‘defensible space’, a 30-foot radius around your home.
  • Stack firewood uphill or on a contour at least 25 feet from your home.
  • Mow dry grass and weeds regularly within your ‘defensible space’.
  • Prune branches from evergreen trees within your ‘defensible space’ to a height of 8 feet above the ground.
  • Clean your roof and gutters of pine needles and leaves to eliminate an ignition source.
  • Remove branches that extend over eaves of roofs. Remove branches within 15 feet of a chimney.
  • Remove shrubs, small trees or other potential “ladder” fuels from beneath large evergreen trees. Left in place, these continuous fuels create a ladder that will carry a ground fire into the treetops.
  • Reduce the density of the surrounding forest at least 100 feet from your home (or to the property line, whichever is closest). Thin the trees so there is 10-foot spacing between tree branches. This not only will reduce wildfire hazards, but it will also promote healthier forest conditions.
  • Maintain your ‘defensible space’ annually, by removing debris, shrubs, and any other flammable vegetation that accumulates during the year.
  • Make sure your address is clearly visible from the road, from both directions and at night.
  • Thin the trees and brush along your driveway to provide safe access to your home for fire and emergency vehicles. The driveway needs to be at least 12 feet wide with 14 feet of overhead clearance.
For More Information, Visit the Website:,
Or Call 1-888-MINNDNR to Request your free FireWise Homeowner’s Kit

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Cook County Firewise is made possible from grants from the USDA Forest Service.