Protect your Great Lakes Shoreline Home from Wildfires (E3203)

By incorporating preventative practices, your lakeshore home will be better protected if a wildfire does occur. Remember to abide by Michigan’s CDA guidelines, created to help protect our state’s beautiful shoreline.


Wildfires on the Great Lakes shoreline occur every year, damaging or destroying vacation homes, rental properties, wooden decks, boats, recreational vehicles (RVs) and other property (Figure 1). Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) data show that more than 8,000 wildfires occur in Michigan each year and many of these occur along the shoreline. Flammable vegetation such as dune grass, conifers and oak leaves will easily carry a fire across or up a dune to the homes above. Winds off the lake increase fire intensity making fire suppression more difficult. Property loss caused by most wildfires can be prevented if property owners take proper steps to avoid it. The best defense in protecting shoreline homes and properties is wildfire prevention. However, if a wildfire should occur, incorporating Firewise concepts such as defensible space as discussed in this bulletin can help to reduce the chance that your home will catch fire.

Related Articles

Related Resources