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Lake County Emergency Management targets wildfire prevention

Wildfire is the greatest natural hazard we face in Lake County, according to a press release from the Lake County Emergency Management Department. However, home fires are more common and more preventable.

How house fires start

The most common causes of home fires are cooking, heating, electrical and smoking, which is the leading cause of fire deaths.

Basic tips include:

• Never put water on a grease fire;

• Keep "ABC" class fire extinguishers;

• Clean your dryer lint filter;

• Don't smoke in bed;

• Practice your escape plan.

Learn more fire safety tips at the National Fire Protection Association website, nfpa.org, the Minnesota State Fire Marshal's Office, the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Red Cross installs alarms

Smoke alarms save lives, yet most homes lack them or their alarms are more than 10 years old.

The American Red Cross installs fire alarms in homes for free. Call 612-460-3674 or text "Alarm" to 844-811-0100.

Prevent wildfires

In addition to lightning, wildfires are often caused by matches, campfires and home debris burning.

Protect your home from wildfire with the following tips:

• Make sure your driveway allows clear fire truck access;

• Remove balsam fir trees and "ladder fuels" of tall grass and low branches within 30 feet of your home;

• Screen attic vents and under decks;

• Store firewood away from your home.

The Lake County Emergency Management Department notes that all firefighters in Lake County are volunteers. "Find an opportunity to thank them," the release stated.