Editor's note: As fire season approaches, it's never too soon to start preparing your home and property. Below are the California Landscape Contractors Association's recommendations for landscaping with fire prevention as a priority.
Homes in California have been built in natural fire zones. Coupled with predicted climate change, many areas of California and our country are expected to get hotter and drier, increasing the threat of fire. It has been proven that fire-safe landscaping can help save your home.
Now, more than ever, it is important to re-examine your fire danger and how you can help protect your family and property. This advice can help protect your property during fire season and help you prepare for predicted water shortages and climate change.
Create a defensible space
-Remove all dead plants, trees and shrubs. Keep your lawn well mowed and healthy and all plants pruned and well maintained.
-With much drier conditions, increase the recommended defensible space around your home from 30 to 50 feet or as recommended by your local fire department, especially if your area is prone to wildfires. Be sure to include at least 100 to 150 feet around your home in your fire management plan.
-Space trees at least 30 feet apart and prune lower limbs to a height of at least 10 feet.
-Contact your local fire department (or go to
) for a list of high fuel plants that should be removed.
-Use fire-resistant plants and do not plant in large masses.
-In many areas due to reduced water allocations, it may not be possible to keep a well-watered landscape or to use supplemental irrigation.
-Plant beds should be filled with low flammable plants or decorative rock.
-Make sure water sources needed to fight the fire are working and easy to find. Plastic irrigation lines and parts are flammable and should be installed underground.
-Consider your entrance and exit defensible space.