YAKIMA, Wash.-- Wildfires are unpredictable, sometimes fast-moving and wind-driven, making it difficult for local fire crews to protect homes.
"Well sometimes it is very difficult and it does take a long time to get to some of these places, if we can get there," said Selah Fire Department Chief Deputy, Jim Lange.
However, Lange says there are some steps homeowners can take to keep their homes safe in an event of a wildfire.
"The more green space and protected areas we have around our structures it really helps us out to get there, before anything is lost."
Removing fuels close to the home, cleaning up wood piles, and trimming vegetation can make the difference. Clearing debris around decks, sheds, fences and swing sets is also recommended.
"If you've ever seen the aerial photos of other fires where there will be houses left there and then one totally gone, usually the houses that are left are the ones that have prepared and done the things they need to do to protect their homes from wildfire," he added.
Recent fires in our area and in counties nearby go to show the power these wildfires can have. And whether you live near downtown or up in the hills, everyone is in danger.
"We all know there can be a fire danger," which is exactly why Ann Thomas prefers to take her precautions.
"We keep sprinklers on so we can keep the house wet and green, because we don't want any fires."
Although no prevention can guarantee a house will make it through a fire, fire officials say it can have a significant effect on how much of the property burns.
"A lot of little things homeowners can do, very inexpensive, if not free just takes a little bit of effort and it really greatly prepares the house and it really enables us to effectively mitigate the situation."
Last month a wildfire destroyed two homes near South Naches Road.
This Fourth of July weekend officials urge people to attend public displays of fireworks throughout Yakima County instead of lighting up fireworks at home. This in order to reduce the high probability of wildfires, which are common during this holiday weekend.
How safe is your home from wildfire?
Officials urge home owners to take precautions sooner rather than later, in order to protect their homes from wildfires.