Video by Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety
Embers are small pieces of burning material that can travel more than a mile ahead of a wildfire. They can create spot fires when they land on combustible materials, such as leaves in your gutter or plants under your windows.
During an ember storm, flying embers can ignite anything combustible in their path, including your home and anything near it, such as plants or patio furniture. Embers are responsible for most damage during wildfires. They can accumulate on your home, deck, or porch and ignite plants, mulch, leaves, fencing, or furniture. They can also be forced into gaps in the home (e.g. attic vents or an open or broken window) and burn the home from the inside out. When this happens, there can be little damage to the surrounding vegetation, leaving people puzzled as to what caused the home to burn.
Flying embers can destroy homes up to a mile from wildland areas. “Harden” your home against embers before fire starts.
Resource credit: California Fire Safe Council and FIRESafe MARIN