How to protect your real estate investment against fire..

When you leave in a foreign country and particularly a third world country you might find out that you can't expect the government response that you might have in your own country particularly when wildfire happen.

So how to be prepared in case of fire around your property.


I live on the shore of Lake Atitlan, for 26 years now, in a remote area only accessible by boat surrounded by hotel and forest.
For many years we have been protected against wildfire because we are few owners in the area.
Most of the fire happen when you have an access (road, path) and kids very often start the fire for fun. fewer farmers are starting fires because they have been sensibilities to the importance of farming responsibly to help protect the forest so important for the Eco-system, to prevent erosion that ultimately brings to many nutrients to the lake contributing to the growing of Ciano bacteria.

This year a wildfire started kilometer from my house suddenly expand into the most dangerous event I had to deal with during the 26 years I have been living here.
Suddenly I was faced with an imminent event that could jeopardize my lifestyle. My real estate investment in Lake Atitlan could have been torched by a situation started kilometers away...

Get an insurance.

I do have insurance on my house for fire, earthquake, mudslide, volcanic eruptions but I guess you contract an insurance with the hope to never have to use it.
Wildfire on Lake Atitlan

As you can't predict from where, or fast and strong a fire would come you can prepare your property for that.

Build strongly

First advice builds in materials that are resistant to fire. I have a palm roof which I have been wanting to change for years now that it is coming to the end of its life spend... As the fire issue has been something hovering above my head.  So minimized the use of natural materials (wood, palm,...).

Work with your neighbors

In agreement with your neighbors makes sure you clean all the bushes and field are regularly maintained. As the dry materials all around your property is an ideal flammable material that allows the fire to progress quickly and put your house in danger. Clearing the neighborhood to make a breach that will help the fire to stop.

Storage water

Get a big water source (water deposit, river, lake,...) where you can tap water quickly.

Be equipped 

The easiest is to get a proper water pump  I found out that a surface gasoline powered water pump allow you to put out a high volume of water. The only drawback is that you can't get the water to high.
The second pump is an electrical submersible pump that you plunge into your water-deposit and from there you can with tubes go around your property.

Preparation is key in front of such event. You never underestimate a fire as far as it seems to be with the help of high wind you can be suddenly in danger.
It came very close
I'm also planning to install proper firemen hoses and more holding tank. I will make sure my surface pump is properly storage as this time it wouldn't start because of a year of not being used.
In any case, you have to remember that things can be replaced but not your life.



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