Firewise

The primary goal for Firewise Landscaping is fuel reduction—limiting the level of flammable vegetation and materials surrounding the home and increasing the moisture content of remaining vegetation. Consider the entire “home ignition zone” which extends up to 200ft from your home.  Assess your landscaping to ensure that it is LEAN, CLEAN and GREEN!

Zone:  1 (30ft from house)

This area should be well-irrigated and free from fuels that may ignite your home, such as dry vegetation, clutter and debris. 

LEAN:

  • Plants should be low-growing and free of resins, oils and waxes that burn easily.
  • Mow the lawn regularly.  Prune all trees so the lowest limbs are at least 6-10 ft from ground.
  • Flammable conifer trees should be spaced 30ft between crowns in order to reduce risk of crown fire.
  • Within 5ft of home, use nonflammable landscaping materials, such as rock, pavers, annuals, and high-moisture content perennials.   Remove dead leaves and stems immediately.

CLEAN

  • Remove dead vegetation, such as leaves and pine needles from gutters, under your deck, and within 10ft from your home.  Be sure to keep this area clean of flammable debris.
  • Consider fire-resistant material for things such as patio furniture, swing sets, etc…keep patio cushions inside the house when not in use during periods of high fire potential.
  • Firewood stacks and propane tanks should not be located in this area.  Keep them at least 30ft from the home.

GREEN

  • Water plants and trees regularly to ensure that they are healthy and green, especially during the fire season. Mulch should also be kept watered, as it can become flammable when dry.
  • Consider fire-resistant and low irrigation planting, such as agave, cactus, lavender, juniper, sedum and thyme.

Zone: 2 (30-100ft from home)

  • Plants should be low-growing, well-irrigated and less flammable
  • Prune trees so branches and leaves are at least 6-10 ft above ground.  Remove heavy accumulations of woody debris.
  • Give yourself added protection with “fuel breaks”, such as driveways, gravel walkways and lawns
  • Encourage a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees.  Most deciduous trees do not support high-intensity fires.
  • Leave 30ft between clusters of 2-3 trees, or 20ft between individual trees.

Zone: 3 (100-200ft from home)

  • In high-hazard areas, remove heavy accumulation of woody debris.  Reduce density of tall trees so canopies are not touching to reduce the ability for high-intensity crown fire to reach your home

If you have any questions, please email Firewise@waldenwoods.org.

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