How can I keep my landscaping fire-safe?
Unless you cover your yard with concrete, you can’t make it perfectly fireproof. But there’s plenty you can do make it more resistant to flames that might spread from a fire that starts in your yard, in the one next door or even in a forest that is miles away. Here are some tips:
- Choose succulent plants and trees, those that store a lot of moisture. Two good choices are aspen and locust. Avoid conifers, like pines, firs, spruces, junipers and Arizona cypress, as they’re more flammable, even when they’re well-watered.
- The same goes for grasses, bushes and even flowers. Plant greenery that grows low to the ground and holds water.
- Don’t plant anything too close to the house or too close to other plants. If a bush or tree does catch on fire, the flames will have a harder time spreading if nothing is nearby.
- Keep tall shrubs away from the house. Flames can climb them, all the way up to the eaves of the house.
- Create a perimeter around your house of at least 30 feet. Mow the grass short and water it often.
- Thin out dense groups of trees or bushes to slow the spread of fire. Keep greenery pruned.
- Clean your yard and planting beds regularly to remove debris and fallen leaves that can act as kindling in case of a yard fire.
- Snip branches away from your home’s roof and soffits.