Can Your Off Grid Home Withstand a Wild Fire?

Do You Leave or Hunker Down?

When you think of Hurricane Katrina does your blood boil because so many people stayed and created more problems than if they had listened to authorities and left?  But do you rely on authorities being able to tell you in time when danger is coming your way?

In this case, John Belles only heard about the wildfires minutes before the wildfires were on his property.  And the wildfires came within 20 Feet from his home, but he was safe and snug in his home because he had planned in advance.

John was sure he had built his home to withstand any and all situations for the region and figured he was safer there than out in the smoke and chaos outdoors.  When he decided to move off-grid, he figured that emergency personnel might not always be easily accessible so he wanted to be sure he built his home to reduce the risks of typical concerns in this area.

So despite the fact that wildfires have been blazing to now more than 227,000 acres, John sat in his living room well-protected from the dangers outside.  “It’s a perfect example of the authorities being spread thin and not being able to take care of everybody,” Belles said.

Here is more of how John survived:

John Belles said he was prepared for the inevitability of a wildfire when he built his thin-shelled, concrete dome in 1999 surrounded by dry fields in Okanogan County.

Earlier this week, Belles just happened to be working 30 miles out of town when he received a voicemail from a friend warning him about a fire approaching his home, he told ABC News today.

“I grabbed the hose, soaked my clothing down and doused the north side of the building as much as I could. [The fire] got close enough that it was super heated and getting uncomfortable out there in the smoke. I went inside, shut the door behind me and watched it move by.”

Belles said he waited out the flames for about a minute as the fire passed by his home.

“The fire just roared across my property. I could see the flames dancing up over the windows,” Belles said.

Belles’ three-layered cement home is made up of polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane and cement, he said.

Image source: KOMO-News