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Letter: Hicksville Fire District Message

As has been reported in the media lately, a serious fire risk has developed this spring. Brush fires are the result of unseasonably high temperatures, very little rainfall, low humidity and dried out vegetation. Although the media have been reporting on large-scale brush fires in woodland areas of Suffolk County and other locations, a brush fire could start “in your own backyard,” literally. Don’t let your home or property fall victim to a brush fire.

To prevent life and property loss from a brush fire, be sure to maintain your property and landscaping in a condition that is resistant to the spread of fire and follow these fire prevention tips from your Hicksville Fire District:

- Keep weeds and grass cut. The Town of Oyster Bay prohibits heavy undergrowth and accumulations of plant growth, which are noxious or detrimental to health.

- Remove dead and piled up vegetation and dispose of it properly.

- Control the height of ground vegetation and mow the grass often.

- Properly dispose of trash and debris and keep areas underneath decks, porches and other overhangs clear of potential fire sources. Piles of refuse such as old furniture, boxes and pallets are fires waiting to happen and fire can spread to the house. Even old cars are susceptible to fire.

- Fences, decks or outbuildings connected to the house must be considered part of the house; construct them out of non-combustible materials and keep them clear of pine needles, dead leaves, etc.

- Stack firewood away from structures, fences or anything else that may be combustible.

- Conduct regular maintenance to reduce the opportunity for brush fires.

- Remove low hanging branches. Also, remove tree limbs around chimneys.

- Keep the roof clear. Sweep gutters and eaves, and wash the roof on a regular basis to get rid of dry needles and leaves.

- Provide enough water to keep plants healthy and green. Keep irrigation systems in good working order.

- Remove or thin dead wood and older trees.

- Store and use flammable liquids properly.

- Always dispose of cigarettes carefully.

Board of Fire Commissioners
Hicksville Fire District