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Firewise Landscape

A well maintained landscape can not only enhance the beauty and value of any property-it can also serve as a fuel break.  Under the right conditions, a "Firewise" home can even survive a wildfire. 

When designing and installing a Firewise landscape, consider the following:

  • Local area fire history
  • Site location and overall terrain
  • Prevailing winds and seasonal weather
  • Property contours and boundaries
  • Native vegetation (see plant lists below)
  • Plant characteristics and placement (duffage, water and salt retention ability, aromatic oils, fuel load per area and size)
  • Irrigation requirements
  • Give yourself added protection with "fuel breaks" like driveways, gravel walkways and lawns.

Plant Lists

Fuel Reduction

The goal is to keep your landscaping lean, clean and green.  Initiate the zone concept.  Zone 1 is closest to your home; zones 2 and 3 move progressively further away.Fuel Reduction Zones

Zone 1: This well-irrigated area encircles the structure for at least 30 feet on all sides, providing space for fire suppression equipment in the event of an emergency.  Plantings should be limited to carefully spaced, low growing and free of resins, oils and waxes that burn easily.

Mow and water lawn regularly.   Prune all trees so the lowest limbs are 6-10 ft from the ground.  Remove dried leaves, pine needles and other debris.

Within 5 ft of the home, use nonflammable landscaping materials such as rock, pavers, annuals, and high-moisture content perennials.

Zone 2: 30-100 ft from the home.  Low flammability plant materials should be used here.  Plants should be low-growing and the irrigation system should extend into this section.  Leave 30 ft between clusters of 2-3 trees or 20 ft between individual trees.  Prune trees so branches and leaves are at least 6-10 ft above ground.  Give yourself added protection with "fuel breaks" such as driveways, gravel walkways and lawns.

Zone 3: 100-200 ft from the home.  Keep this area thinned out.  Remove heavy accumulation of woody debris.  Reduce the density of tall trees so high-intensity crown fire is less likely to reach your home. Place low-growing plants and well-spaced trees in this area, remembering to keep the volume of vegetation (fuel) low.