Be prepared. If your community faces wildfire conditions throughout much of the year, evaluate your risk. Check your perimeter, vegetation and brush. There is no one answer to reducing fire risk. Following these landscape strategies can help protect your home.
Landscaping strategies and plant choices:
- Rake and compost leaves, pine needles and other dead matter. Check beneath decks and outdoor furniture, too. Keep leaf, compost and wood piles 30’ away from any structures, as they burn easily.
- Cut down dead trees and brush up to 60’ away from your home, leaving ample space between plants. Limb up trees to 6’-10’.
- Maintain a defensible zone around the perimeter of your home starting at 3’-5’ and working outward to 30’. In this zone, install non-flammable hardscaping like concrete, permeable paver sidewalks, fences and patios.
- Mulch with decomposed granite or rock instead of flammable materials such as wood.
- Replace wood patio furniture with metal or plastic. Replace wood shingles with shingles made from non-flammable materials.
- Grow plants high in pectin, soap and latex for their fire resistance. Crabapples and quince are high in pectin. Plant deciduous trees that are higher in moisture than most evergreens. Plant conifers away from your home as they are high in oils and resins. Shrubs should be planted farther apart for better fire control.
- Keep grass mowed 3” or shorter.
- Use an irrigation system to keep plants full of moisture.
- Create adequate driveway and road access for emergency fire vehicles. Also, display reflective house numbers near the street for quick identification.