Updated: Jun 17
Vol. 1, Issue 6. May/June 2023
Spring is here!
In an effort to help keep everyone informed and educated, the Firewise Committee thought the focus in this issue would be the reduction of fire hazards around the exterior of your home.
Every Spring I cannot wait to get in my yard and garden! I have to control myself to wait until the last official frost date of June 15th. There are things that can be done to prepare your landscaping prior to that date.
Did you know you can have a fire-resistant garden?! I have information on this topic which not only is fascinating but quite pertinent. I plan to focus on this topic in the coming days ahead, providing tips and information on a weekly to biweekly basis.
To be a Firewise homeowner, plan well, plant well and maintain well.
The first step is vegetation management.
Vegetation management is the means of controlling plant materials for the prevention of fire spread such as thinning out heavy brush, removing dead and dying plants like grass, pine needles, dead leaves and other type fuels, and trimming or removing tress that could contribute to a fire's spread. Here's a little review, on Home Ignition Zone (HIZ) which takes into account both the potential of your home or structure to ignite and the quality of the defensible space surrounding it.
There are 3 home ignition zones:
Illustration provided courtesy of the Colorado State Forest Service. Used with Permission.
Immediate Zone - 0 ft. to 5 ft. around the house
Intermediate Zone - 5 ft. to 30 ft. around the house
Extended Zone - 30 ft. to 100 ft. around the house
Vegetative clearance around the house (defensible space) is a primary determinant of a home’s ability to survive a wildfire. Defensible space is, simply, room for firefighters to do their jobs. If grasses, brush, trees, and other common forest fuels are removed, reduced or modified to lessen a fire’s intensity and keep it away from the home, chances increase the structure will survive.
I would like everyone to take this opportunity to go out and see what is out around your house in that 1st Immediate Zone. Are there dry grasses, shrubs which are overgrown, etc.? If this is observed, remove it!
Congratulations! You have completed the first step to fire resistant gardening.
As Always, Let’s all be Safe!