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Polson Rural Fire - Safe Landscaping


Fire-safe Landscaping Can Save Your Home

Wildland fires destroy hundreds of homes and acres of land every year across the country. Fire-safe landscaping is an effective tool that creates an area of defensible space between your home and flammable vegetation that protects against devastating fires. The United States Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to keep fire safety at the forefront by learning how to landscape and maintain your property to minimize possible fire damage and slow fires if they start. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility… Fire Stops with You!

Tips for Fire-Safe Landscaping

  • Create a defensible space perimeter by thinning trees and brush within 30 feet around your home.

  • Beyond 30 feet, remove dead wood, debris, and low tree branches. Eliminate small trees and plants growing under trees. They allow ground fires to jump into tree crowns.

  • Space trees 30 feet apart and prune to a height of 8 to 10 feet.

  • Place shrubs at least 20 feet from any structures and prune regularly.

  • Plant the most drought-tolerant vegetation within three feet of your home and adjacent to structures to prevent ignition.

  • Provide at least a 10 to 15 foot separation between islands of shrubs.

  • Maintain a well-pruned and watered landscape to serve as a green belt and protection against fire.

  • Trim grass on a regular basis up to 100 feet surrounding your home.

  • Stack firewood at least 30 feet from your home.

Choose Fire Resistant Materials

  • Check your local nursery or county extension service for advice on fire resistant plants that are suited for your environment.

  • Create fire-safe zones with stonewall, patios, swimming pools, decks, and roadways.

  • Use rock, mulch, flowerbeds, and gardens as ground cover for bare spaces and as effective firebreaks.

  • There are no “fire-proof” plants. Select high moisture plants that grow close to the ground and have a low sap or resin content. Choose plant species that resist ignition such as rockrose, ice plant, and aloe.

  • Fire-resistant shrubs include hedging roses, bush honeysuckles, currant, cotoneaster, and sumac and shrub apples. Plant hardwood, maple, poplar, and cherry trees that are less flammable than pine, fir, and other conifers.

Other Great Tips:

  • Store flammable materials, liquids, and solvents in metal containers outside the home at least 30 feet away from structures and wooden fences.

  • No matter where you live, always install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new long-life smoke alarms.

 

 


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