Earth Gauge Tip of the Week — Are You Fire Wise?

Reader Contribution by Earth Gauge
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Many homes and buildings are adjacent to woodlands and parks, which provide beautiful views and peaceful settings.  But wildfire risk can be especially high in this “wildland-urban interface,” where the built environment blends with natural landscapes.

Viewer Tip:  You can protect your home from wildfire by reducing the amount of flammable material between your home and a natural area.  An easy way to do this is to think of your property in zones:

  • Zone 1 is closest to your home and extends at least 30 feet out.  This zone should be well-irrigated and planted with native plants that are well-adjusted to your climate.

  • Zone 2 extends at least 20 feet from Zone 1.  This zone should also be well-irrigated and can include low-growing plants and shrubs, and carefully-placed trees.  Reduce risk of fire by placing trees at least ten feet apart and trimming away dead branches and branches close to the ground.
  • Zone 3 is the furthest from your home and extends at least 50 feet from Zone 2.  Think of this as a “slightly modified natural area.”  Thin out dense areas of trees and remove dead or dying trees and shrubs.

Learn more about each zone and find additional tips for protecting your home property from the Firewise Program:  And for more weather and environment tips, visit Earth Gauge!

(Source: National Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Protection Program. “Fire Hazard Assessment in the Wildland/Urban Interface.”; Firewise. “Is Your Home Protected from Wildfire Disaster?”; Image courtesy of Kentucky’s Division of Forestry.)