If you own a cabin or a home in a rural and wooded area, the Minnesota DNR says fall is the best time to reduce the risk of wildfire damage to your property.

The DNR says that it's often easier this time of year to clear woodlots, cut firewood and remove downed or dying trees.

Other areas of focus to help protect your property include:

  • Access - Firefighters and emergency vehicles need to be able to find and access a home. Without good access and escape routes, firefighters will not endanger themselves to save a home.
  • Defensible zone - To lessen chances of a structure catching fire, establish at least a 30-foot “defensible zone” around structures, within which flammables such as excess vegetation, firewood, and fallen leaves and needles have been removed.
  • Structure - Home modifications that further reduce wildfire risk include re-siding with brick, stone, stucco or steel, replacing shake roofing with class A shingles or steel, and enclosing foundations, decks and overhangs with steel, masonry or other flame-resistant sheeting.
  • Burning practices - The number one cause of wildfires in Minnesota is escaped debris from intentional fires. Instead of burning leaves and debris, consider alternatives like composting. Recreational fires should be in a fire-safe pit or container and completely extinguished before left unattended.

A little prevention now could go a long way now could go a long way.