Firewise Program

Wildfire Risk Reduction in Duluth and Alden Townships


 Are you prepared?

Scientific Fact: A high percentage of homes lost in a wildfire are not caused by the wall of fire sweeping thru an area, but, by the embers from that fire, that will land, smolder and ignite in a combustible area near or on your home. Embers can travel over a mile or more in a high wind situation.


Here’s a Top Ten checklist to improve your structures wildfire resiliency:

  • Remove all dead vegetation, pine needles and dried leaves from gutters, roof tops and within 30 feet of your buildings foundations.
  • Move firewood piles 30 feet away from your buildings.
  • Remove evergreen branches on or within at least 10 feet of your siding, deck, porch, roof or chimney stack
  • Within 30 feet of your buildings prune evergreen trees up to six to ten feet from the ground, for shorter trees do not exceed 1/3 of the overall tree height. Thin or remove all small diameter balsam trees within 30 feet of all structures.
  • Clear vegetation from under and around stationary propane tanks. Keep propane tanks full.
  • Make sure your address sign is made out of reflective material and is clearly visible from all approaches to your property.
  • Remove combustible materials from carports, crawl spaces, decks and elevated porches. Place 1/8” metal mesh screening between low profile decks/porches and crawl spaces to block embers and combustible materials from collecting underneath.
  • Make sure eaves and soffit vents are also covered with 1/8” metal mesh and are in good repair, to prevent embers from entering your building.
  • Make sure the access to your property is cleared of trees and over hanging branches at a minimum of 14 feet wide and 14 feet high. This is for safe access for Emergency personnel and their vehicles which include ambulances and fire trucks.
  • Within 0 to 5 feet of your structure’s foundations have non combustible materials and/or low flammable vegetation. Keep all grass/vegetation well watered thru out season.

If you are interested in more things you can do to help your community be more wildfire resilient check out the MN DNR Firewise website or contact your local Fire Department and/or St. Louis County Firewise Coordinator,  Gloria Erickson, 218-365-0878.

Free 911 Sign Campaign

Free 911 signs (and posts if needed) are available for all residents of Duluth or Alden township who have an out of date 911 address sign (one sided, non-reflective) or lacked a sign in 2017 when the signs were ordered. Contact Gopher State One Call (811) before setting your post.  Neighbors may want to coordinate to have their underground lines marked at the same time.  Signs can be picked up at the Town Hall during office hours.

 911 Sign Installation instructions, rural St. Louis County

  • All new signs installed after March 2003 must contain the numbers on both sides of the sign and shall be installed perpendicular to the road.
  • All signs must contain a red background with white numbering and shall be of a reflective material. The bottom of a sign shall be no less than 4’ above the level of the road surface.
  • The sign post shall be placed within 10’ of the driveway access and at least 10’ from the edge of the road surface.

If you need assistance to install your 911 sign, please leave your name and contact information with the clerk at the town hall or email: