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Here's how to protect your home and loved ones during wildfire season

Posted at 4:10 AM, Mar 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-29 05:46:27-04

With it now being the heart of wildfire season, there are ways to protect your homes, property and family. 

St. Lucie County resident Tom Walsh still remembers a large wildfire in 2013 off Indrio Road.

Hundreds of residents were evacuated and there were many close calls. Seeing it first hand, Walsh is staying on top of his yard and house this wildfire season. 

"I was clipping some of palm fronds that were dead," said Tom Walsh. 

There is also extra hurricane debris in the woods, serving as additional fuel for wildfires. 

Melissa Yunas with the Florida Forest Service points to what the community did before the 2013 wildfire. 

"We saved many homes in this community and for the most part it's because they had defensible spaces," said Yunas. "Literally the fire just went right around their houses." 

Yunas praises residents for what they are doing now, pointing out measures being taken.

"You see how this driveway, it literally serves as a fire break," she said. 

Yunas also pointed to a metal roof, which is less flammable. She also said the homeowner put a rock border around the house and cleared dead vegetation. 

Firefighters said you should clean your gutters out immediately as your best way to protect your home from flying embers.