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2/6/2012 - Study examines wildfire risk for homeowners living in wooded areas

Many areas have a potentially high wildfire risk.

A new safety initiative taking place in Virginia may have national implications, as it attempts to discover how property owners living in wooded areas can better protect their homes from wildfires.

According to The News Leader, Carson Holloway, Augusta County Fire and Rescue chief, says the safety initiative will involve a study of what homeowners can do to reduce the danger that wildfires pose.

"We want to be proactive," said Holloway. "We've got more people living next [to] the woods now."

He added that by the spring, firefighters and representatives from the state's Department of Forestry will be able to provide residents with more ideas of what they can do to better shield themselves and their properties from wildfires and the damage they cause. In the meantime, they say raking up leaves that surround a house can prevent a wildfire from spreading.

While wildfires are more prevalent in certain states, they've led to millions of dollars in property insurance losses throughout the country since 2000, according to casualty risk analytics company ISO. The Institute for Business and Home Safety indicates that 38 states have wildfire risks.

For more information and safety tips on how you can protect you and your property from wildfires, click here.

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