How to Reduce Fire Hazards on Your Property
In the past, wildfires under-burned some forests, leaving mature trees intact, while in other forests, entire stands and watersheds were destroyed. In other forests, fires burned with a mixture of high and low intensity. Wildfire plays numerous important roles such as thinning forests, reducing accumulated fuels such as underbrush, and creating new forests of different ages and patch sizes which add to the diversity in the forest. However, many of our forests have become vulnerable to intense wildfires due to a large number of hazardous fuels, including dead and unhealthy trees.
As more people live in or near wooded areas, the risk becomes much greater for wildfire due to human negligence. Intense fires pose significant risks to private forests, homes, structures, and human lives. That is why it’s so important to maintain your woodland to reduce the risk of intense wildfires.
Sources of Ignition
Wildfires are ignited by either lighting or humans. Most ignitions on private forestland are from human activity such as debris burning, equipment fires, and arson. Although it’s possible for the lighting to set fires that consume more than three times the acreage of human-caused fires in the same period. You can identify the likely ignition sources around your property by asking these questions
- Do thunderstorms tend to produce lightning strikes in your area?
- Do power lines run through or near your property?
- Do you allow hunters or others to use your property?
- Does a road border your property where a driver might ignite roadside vegetation?
- Is a railroad nearby where trains could produce sparks?
All of these factors can increase the chance of ignition. Even those you might not have control over a few things, in some cases, you can take preventive actions to reduce the risk.
How to Reduce Potential Wildfires
- Land clearing
Land Clearing your yard will help make your property more usable, more enjoyable, and safer from wildfires. Remove any dead trees, overgrown bushes, and ladder fuels. This will create a defensible space around your home by removing all hazardous fuel for a fire but adding a beautiful space to your land.
Any bushes, shrubs, or small trees that grow underneath larger trees are called underbrush. This type of growth is considered invasive to surrounding vegetation that can be poisonous and contribute to the spread of a fire. They can also make the surrounding vegetation look not well kept. That is why underbrushing can make your property and landscape look better while reducing the risk of a wildfire.
- Forestry Mulching
Proactive mulching can help prevent wildfires by reducing the number of plants, dry brushes, and other fuel sources on the forest floor. If left untreated, these fuel sources have a higher chance of catching fire and spread through the forest and your property.
- Thin Out and Maintain Vegetation
All vegetation is fuel for a wildfire, though some trees and shrubs are more flammable than others. To reduce the risk, you need to eliminate brush and trees that are located several hundred feet to provide the desired level of safety. Keep the volume of vegetation close to your house to a minimum. If you live on a hill, extend the area on the downhill side. Fire will spread rapidly uphill. Providing more open space will protect your home from wildfire.
If you own land in western North Carolina or South Carolina in the Hendersonville, Greenville, and Spartanburg areas, Garrett’s Landscape & Grading offers forestry mulching services that help residents reduce the risk of hazardous fires while making the most of their land with environmentally friendly practices. Contact us today to learn more about our landscaping services.