How to become 'Firewise' to protect your home

A Carolina Forest fire at The Farm that occurred Thursday was quickly put out, and in part it was credited to a program called Firewise.

Firewise was put forth by the South Carolina Forestry Commission, which empowers citizens to become engaged in fire prevention.

Bo Ives, president of the Carolina Forest Civic Association said his community is one of four that's already certified.

"In Avalon, we have a grant from the SC Forestry Commission to cut a 60 foot zone between the homes and the forest," said Ives.

Justin Gibbins, Horry County Fire Assistant Chief, says working fires in communities that are Firewise make their jobs safer and easier.

"Firefighters can protect a lot more homes in a Firewise community than they would in a community that didn't take those precautions," said Gibbins.

Firewise means there's a defendable space between the home and wooded areas, and much of the flamable brush around the home is removed.

A fire break is another way to protect homes. The fire break is a man made gap in the wooded area to slow the fire before it reaches any structure.

"It gives more of a buffer in an area for firefighters to go behind the residents home and safely protect them," said Gibbins.

Becoming Firewise certified is free for residents, and can save both communities and firefighters money and heartache in the long run.

For more information on how to become Firewise, and for a look at other communities who are certified click here.