The heat of the summer is celebrated with sunglasses, board shorts and boating, and while it can be quite warm, the summer season is just downright pleasant in Portland, Oregon. But the summer heat does come at a cost. Summer is also fire season and each year millions of acres across the country are burned. It is not just forests or brush plains that are destroyed, homes and businesses that get in the fire’s path are consumed as well. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, forest fires burned more than 9.3 million acres around the country in 2012. The 2013 fire season has started off with destructive blazes in California, Colorado, Alaska and Arizona.
While many natural disasters like floods or earthquakes require a special insurance policy, Forest Fire Insurance is generally covered under the comprehensive portion of a homeowner’s insurance policy. The price of the policy may be higher if you live in an area that is prone to yearly fires. Forest fires are both friend and foe, as they are needed to clear out overgrowth and dead trees. A charred forest allows for new growth trees and helps reduce the risk of another fire occurring in the exact same area during the summer months.
Oregon forest fire facts:
- The spark: Most forest fires start from lightning strikes. The dry foliage and hot winds provide the perfect setting for a fire to ignite. Forest fires can also start from simple mistakes like forgetting to completely douse a campfire or a spark from the backfire of a motorcycle or RV. Even if it is an accident, a person who is found negligent in starting a forest fire may be liable to pay restitution, which can be millions of dollars. Having a personal umbrella policy may help you pay some of those restitution costs.
- Fighting fire with fire: Through a multi-tiered effort of local and federal agencies, firefighters try to starve a forest fire by creating a perimeter. Firefighters burn the forest fire’s food source, dry vegetation, it hopes that the forest fire will become more manageable, easier to put out with air drops of water. There is a risk however, burning a perimeter may result in another uncontrolled fire if the conditions are just right. But the same principle that firefighters use to try and control the growth of a forest fire could help prevent a significant forest fire insurance claim.
- Prevention starts at home: Helping protect your home from forest fire damage starts in your yard. If you live in an area that is prone to forest fires, you will want to create a perimeter around your home that is free of debris and flammable materials. Keeping things like sheds and wood piles at least 30 feet away from your home helps reduce the chances of a fire jumping from one structure to the next. Remove a forest fires fuel source by pruning trees and removing dead or dying plants. There are also several websites that can show you how to fire proof your yard like Readyforwildfire.org and U.S. Fire Administration.
Take the time to learn about forest fire danger in your area and to prep your home against the threat of forest fires. Talk to your licensed insurance agent in Portland, OR to ensure that forest fire insurance is included in the comprehensive section for your homeowner’s insurance policy. Milt Marcy Insurance in Portland, Oregon can guide you through your homeowner’s insurance policy and add additional coverages like flood insurance and earthquake insurance. Their years of insurance experience can save you a bundle, and they live right in your area, so know first-hand what your insurance needs might be. You can also visit their insurance website 24/7 to learn more information.