State Farm Insurance® reminds the public to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season
DENVER, Colo. (March 16, 2011) - Preparing for the worst case scenario saved State Farm policyholder Gene Fischer's property during the Boulder Four Mile Canyon Fire. Six months after the fire, Fischer can still find evidence of the fire surrounding his home.
"We lost about 100 trees lower on our property," Fischer recalls. "Even today we continue to find the remnants of the fine ash on the ground and sometimes it makes its way into the house."
While Mother Nature replenishes the scorched earth around the Fischer home, what Fischer won't quickly forget is the devastation the wildfire left in its wake. With 6,500 acres burned and almost 170 homes destroyed the Four Mile Canyon fire was the most costly in Colorado state history.
"Two of my immediate neighbors lost their homes completely," Fisher said. "It's so hard because not only did I see my neighbors lose everything, but if they're not rebuilding we're losing some really good friends. A neighbor told us after seeing our home following the fire it looked like our home was protected by a guardian angel."
So how did Mr. Fischer's home withstand the destruction so many couldn't escape? Simple. He prepared and prepared well.
"I didn't do it alone, when I built here six years ago, I contacted the Colorado State Forestry Service and they sent me a list of reputable contractors I could hire to help me mitigate my property," Fischer shared. "The Colorado State Forestry Service came out to my property and marked the trees they recommended should be removed."
Gene Fischer said he was amazed how simply spacing and pruning the trees kept the fire from crowning. He added equally important was cutting the grass short enough to eliminate fuel for the fire directly around his home.
"After we took some trees down, created a defensible space and cut the grass, our property looked almost like a well kept park," Fischer concluded.
While you're making your spring cleaning list, planning ways to spruce up your curb appeal, don't forget about your safety and protecting your personal property. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for a wildfire.
Complete a FREE State Farm® home inventory checklist and keep the list offsite. (It can save you time and frustration should you experience a disaster.)
More tips for preparation, precautions and related links about what to do during and after a disaster can be found at statefarm.com/learning center.
You can view more about this story on YouTube.
State Farm policyholder Gene Fischer is available for interviews.
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Angela M.Thorpe State Farm Insurance, (303) 264-1560
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State Farm's 17,700 agents and more than 67,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - almost 79 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and more than 1.9 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 31 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®.