Landscaping for Fire Resistance

According to fire safety experts, a fire-resistant landscape creates a defensible buffer around a house. In regions where wildfire is a seasonal danger, homeowners are advised to follow these tips from the U.S. Fire Administration.


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Remove dry, brushy growth and dead limbs: They help a fire spread quickly.

Keep the lawn mowed, especially up to 100 feet around your home.

Replace resinous conifers, such as pine and fir, with less-flammable maple, poplar, aspen, or cherry trees.

Remove low-hanging tree limbs and small trees or shrubs growing under trees; they allow ground fires to spread into the tree canopy.

To prevent fire from leaping from tree to tree, leave a space of 30 feet between trees.

Use rock mulch, pavement, and stone walls to slow the spread of fire.

No plants are fireproof, but those with high moisture content and low growth, including many succulents, are more resistant to fire.

Space plants farther apart the closer you get to your house from the perimeter of your yard. Also, keep lower plants nearer your home; taller plants should be sited farther from your house.

Create barriers to keep fire from easily jumping from one part of your yard to the next. For example, driveways, patios, water features, and lawns can be effective at slowing the spread of fire.

Is your state more at risk for fires? Find out how to use landscaping to help in areas such as Utah.

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