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Lake County fire officials offer tips to prevent wildfires

RELEASE DATE: May 12, 2006

TAVARES — Although Lake County received several rainfalls this past week, the threat of wildfires still remain and the Lake County Department of Public Safety, Fire Rescue Division, is reminding residents to remain vigilante in preventing these devastating fires.

One of the more effective ways to reduce the possibility of wildfires is to clear underbrush or debris blown down in storms. These dry plants and vegetation create more fuel for wildfires. It is recommended that homeowners try to maintain a 30-foot defensible space around their home to act as a fire break.

Other wildfire prevention tips include:
• Prune all branches around the residence to a height of 8 to 10 feet. Keep trees adjacent to buildings free of dead or dying limbs and moss.
• Remove all dead limbs, needles and debris from rain gutters.
• Avoid open burning completely, especially during this dry season.
• Regularly dispose of newspapers and rubbish.
• Rake leaves, dead limbs and twigs. Clear flammable vegetation from around and under structures.
• Remove dead branches that extend over the roof.
• Store flammable materials in approved safety cans.
• Keep items available that can be used as fire tools, such as a rake, handsaw, chainsaw, bucket and shovel.
• Never throw a lighted cigarette from the window of a vehicle or walk off and leave a burning cigarette.

The Lake County Fire Rescue Division also encourages residents to install smoke detectors on each level of their home and in all bedrooms. Residents should test these smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries twice a year. For more information about wildfires, call the Lake County Department of Public Safety at (352) 343-9458.

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Lake County media contact:
Communications Department
Public Information Coordinator
Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445
klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov

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