August 21, 2017 Ed Stam

Protect your BC Landscape from Wildfires

As we are still experiencing one of the worst wildfire seasons on record, it is a good idea to discuss some great ideas to protect your BC landscape from wildfires. You can have both a beautiful landscape and defensible fire-zone around your home. For those with acreages on the outskirts of major cities, this is particularly important as you are at risk.

Here are the two major zones of protection you should consider to protect your BC landscape from wildfires:

30’ Clean Zone

Remove all flammable vegetation and combustible material within 30’ immediately surrounding your home. That isn’t to say you can’t have vegetation within 30’ of your home, after all it is a landscape not a desert.

We recommend plants with a high moisture content, but be sure to keep them well pruned to remove dead material that is extremely flammable. Also be sure to increase the spacing between plants to decrease the likelihood of a fire jumping from fuel source to fuel source. Consider plants that are low-growing, open structured and less resinous.

Resinous plants have stems, leaves or needles that are oily or waxy and more flammable. This includes junipers, pines, spruces and fir trees.

Also be sure to keep any trees trimmed at least 10’ from chimneys and remove any dead branches that are hanging over structures.

70’ Reduced Fuel Zone

Beyond the first 30’, extending an additional 70’ or to your property line, you will want to create a reduced fuel zone to make it difficult for a fire to penetrate your primary 30’ barrier.

Large trees don’t need to be cut down, but plants growing beneath them that are greater than 4” tall should be removed. Also remove the lower limbs of trees up to at least 6’ (or the lower 1/3 of branches on smaller trees) to make it more difficult for the fire to spread on the ground, where it will spread more quickly.

If you are concerned that your property could one day be in the path of an uncontrollable wildfire, you can plant now to increase the chances of your home surviving the fire. If you are looking to protect your BC landscape from wildfires, contact the landscaping experts at Blossom Hill Landscape & Design!

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