Pictured is a smoke plume from the Bennett Fire which ignited August 25, 2021. There’s a new law that came into effect on January 1 that applies to those of us in high fire risk areas. It’s the addition of Zone 0.

I was shocked when I learned that 60 to 90% of the houses that burn in wildfires are ignited when tiny embers from a fire hit the house. Not from flames. Not from heat. In order for that to happen there has to be a place where the embers are caught for enough time to ignite the surface they’re on.

These embers are carried by the wind from the fire, and can travel miles ahead of the fire. That’s why home hardening is so crucial in making our homes fire safe. Home hardening means that the home is built with fire safe materials, like a Class A roof. And that it has little to no cracks or openings, no flammable parts in it or attached to it, no space for the embers to land and easily ignite the house.