East Mountains couple reduces fire danger

Posted at: 11/30/2012 10:16 PM
By: Joe Vigil, KOB Eyewitness News 4

April Fletcher and Frank Graves have done so much to reduce the fire risk around their East Mountains property that the U.S. Forest Service wants others to see their work.

The couple has been thinning their property for years to reduce the chance of a wildfire burning down their home.

The couple says thinning will not only help slow a fire, but will help keep trees healthy by eliminating competition for water.

Other homeowners will be given a tour of the property Saturday morning to give them an idea of what they can do to reduce fire risk where they live.

"When a fire comes through, and I believe it will, the house will have some level of protection," Fletch told KOB Eyewitness News 4 at her home Friday.

The couple's home has a steel roof and steel siding to reduce fire risk. A large wooden deck was turned into a sunroom.

The couple has also cleared trees and brush around a propane tank, which is stored away from their home. Firewood is also stored away from the house.

Some neighbors have also thinned their property to keep more of the area safer from destructive wildfires.

"There's no guarantees but we know that we're a lot more resistant to fire now than when we first moved up here," said Fletcher.

"They've done an incredible job on their property," said Karen Takai with the Forest Service. "They're representing our poster child for defensible space."