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Guru

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Miracle House or is it Just Smart Planning

08/20/2023 2:21 PM

If you don't want your house to burn in a wildfire, don't put kindling around the base...put some rocks instead...

https://www.civilbeat.org/2023/08/what-saved-the-miracle-house-in-lahaina/

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#1

Re: Miracle House or is it Just Smart Planning

08/20/2023 4:48 PM

That's true, but the metal roof deserves a lot of the credit. It was a freak occurance and the homeowner just happened to have done the right things.

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#2

Re: Miracle House or is it Just Smart Planning

08/21/2023 9:12 AM

Probably a healthy dose of both.

There will be lessons learned across many disciplines, not just home construction techniques and material choices.

In California, traditionally, roofs were covered with dry kindling otherwise known as cedar shakes. I never understood that. More recently, I have seen masonry products that look convincingly like cedar shakes from the ground to maintain that traditional look while reducing the fire hazard.

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#3

Re: Miracle House or is it Just Smart Planning

08/21/2023 2:12 PM

There was a house spared in the fire near Boulder, Colorado where hundreds of houses were lost. It that was built with cement siding. Wood shingles on roofs are the absolute worst choice. Asphalt is better, and metal and shale are better still. I know of a mountain cabin that was lost in a wildfire. The owner said the low wood deck built over dried grass might have been the reason it was lost. A concrete patio would have been a far wiser choice.

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#4

Re: Miracle House or is it Just Smart Planning

08/25/2023 4:32 AM

More like plain old serendipity - but maybe a great example of the need to 'robustify' building regs in wild-fire vulnerable areas.

Hopefully we learn from this tragedy.

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#5

Re: Miracle House or is it Just Smart Planning

08/25/2023 12:18 PM

I have also seen recommendations to cut back all vegetation (trees, bushes, tall grass, etc) from any building. but I can't remember the distance--might have been 100 feet. Non-flammable roof and siding also help a bunch.

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