Don’t Get Burned by Wildfires: A Fire-Wise Landscape Can Help!

Wildfires are often caused by humans or lightning. They can destroy homes and buildings and cause injuries or death to people and animals. A wildfire can happen anywhere, anytime, and risk increases during periods of little rainfall and high winds.

While no one wants to lose a home to wildfire, many residents wonder exactly what they have to do to create a fire safe landscape. Creating defensible space does not mean razing every living thing within 100 feet of your home and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Research on home destruction and survival in wildfires indicates that embers and small flames are the main ways buildings ignite from wildfires. The conditions of the home and the area around it that embers and small flame must cross (the ignition zone) help determine its fate.

Landscape plants and well maintained, healthy lawns help prevent the spread of fire and play an important role in creating a defensible space to help protect homes and buildings.

Fire-wise landscape design can help reduce wildfire vulnerability.  This includes smart plant selection, placement, and maintenance immediately surrounding your home. While all plants can burn under the right circumstances, plants that have a higher moisture content in their leaves are more fire-resistant. Prune and water regularly. Remove non-native, invasive plants from the ignition zone.   Invasive plants can impact native ecosystems and increase fire intensity or frequency.  Tree selection and placement is also important!

Share our infographic #PlantsDoThat to reduce wildfire risk  and spread the word.  The plants in our lives should never be an afterthought, not when they can help save our homes.