Firefighters warn embers from a wildfire can float more than a m - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Firefighters warn embers from a wildfire can float more than a mile away

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The wildfires burning across the state broke out as strong winds fanned the flames and whipped up dangerous embers.

Firefighters warn those embers can destroy a home a distance away from a wildfire.
"It is not uncommon to see spotting due to embers a quarter mile to a half mile away," said Clint Bullard, CAL FIRE SLO Public Information Officer.

In extreme circumstances, an ember can float for more than a mile.

Being prepared begins with your roof. Don Birchell of Cencal Roofing says most cities no longer allow wood shingles.

"Most insurance companies won't insure your house if you still have them on there," Birchell added.

He says he receives calls each week from homeowners in San Luis Obispo County looking to update their roof for this very reason.

Newer roofing material is made to be fire resistant, but that doesn't mean you're in the clear.

"The idea behind the Class-A roof coverings, non-combustible siding is to limit that risk or help reduce that risk," Bullard said.

You should also check your rain gutters to prevent embers from igniting a fire, something that happened during the recent Rucker Fire near Lompoc.

"Do you have screens on the gutters? That can help keep pine needles branches, limbs, from getting into your gutters," Bullard continued.

"A roof that's flammable is a bad situation no matter if you live in downtown Morro Bay or out in Santa Margarita," Birchell concluded.

It's also a good idea to sweep or blow off your roof. Also, make sure the screen on your chimney is maintained.

Fire officials also add that it's important to make sure you are fire safe all year long. This includes maintaining 100 feet of defensible space around your home.

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