Earth Gauge: Preparing for Wildfire Season
The spring months – March through May – are a time of increased wildfire risk in the southern United States and Texas. Wildfire risk can be especially high in areas where homes and buildings are located adjacent to woodlands, parks and other natural landscapes.
This is a good time of year to survey your property and reduce the amount of flammable material around your home. An easy way to do this is to think of your property in zones:
- Zone 1 is closest to your home and extends for at least 30 feet. This zone should be well-irrigated and planted with native plants that are well-suited to the local climate.
- Zone 2 extends at least 20 feet from Zone 1. This area should also be well-irrigated and can include low-growing plants, shrubs and carefully-placed trees. Place trees at least 10 feet apart and trim away dead branches.
- Zone 3 is the farthest 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 making your home and community Firewise.
(Sources: National Fire Protection Association, Firewise. “Be Firewise Around Your Home.” http://firewise.gvpi.net/~/media/Firewise/Files/Pdfs/Booklets%20and%20Brochures/BrochureBeFirewiseAroundYourHome.pdf)