Program provides tips to help protect Upstate homes from wildfir - FOX Carolina 21

Program provides tips to help protect Upstate homes from wildfires

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(Source: Associated Press) (Source: Associated Press)

No one wants to see their home go up in flames in a wildfire, and a national program that's also in South Carolina could help prevent that from happening. Now fire officials in South Carolina are making sure homeowners know about it, and what to do to protect their homes.

Caroline Phillips and her neighbors at Oak Creek Plantation in Spartanburg had some major concerns about fire a few years back, when they noticed debris piling up in their green spaces.

"Our fear was fire, that somebody might toss a cigarette and we'd have an inferno between houses," Phillips said.

So they did some research and discovered a program called Firewise USA.  Bill Wiley with the South Carolina Forestry Division, and says they use the Firewise program to educate communities about reducing their risk of wildfires.

"It's an education program for residents to help them understand what the wildfire risk is nearby and then take steps they can use around their homes to prevent damage from wildfires," Wiley said.

Wiley says Firewise teaches simple steps that homeowners can do around their homes now to prevent loss later.

"Cleaning off roofs, cleaning out gutters, not having flammable mulch right against the house, not having flammable landscape, trees, shrubs directly near the house," he said.

There will Firewise community meeting on Thursday, Apr. 12, at 6:30 p.m. It will be at Greenville Water's operations facility on West Washington Street. 

The meeting is open to the public, especially those who live or own property close to state parks, and for those who want to learn how to protect their homes from wildfires.

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