Following last year's devastating Roaring Lion Fire, which destroyed 16 homes and cost millions of dollars to fight, the DNRC is encouraging homeowners to prepare their homes for the upcoming wildfire season.

Department of natural Resources and Conservation spokesman Jordan Koppen said there will be an important meeting in Hamilton scheduled for Wednesday, June 21.

"The meeting will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Hamilton Performing Arts Center," Koppen said. "We have a presentation by retired fire scientist Jack Cohen who has done a great deal of research on wildfires and how they behave in the wildland urban interface. After the Roaring Lion Fire last year, I actually got to go along with Jack and determined what burned down all those homes."

Koppen said only two of the 16 homes were destroyed by direct flames.

"The other 14 were destroyed by low intensity fires, and believe it or not, one of those homes was actually outside the fire's perimeter," he said. "All of those embers that were flying around everywhere, and these wildfires, they create their own storms. In a high intensity fire, I could from the foundation, reach out a touch the wall of trees. They just didn't have enough defensible space away from the home."

Anyone who is interested in creating defensible space can contact the DNRC, the U.S. Forest Service or any local or rural fire department for advice on how to keep their homes safe from a wildfire.

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