Smart Landscaping Can Help Slow WildfiresWhen headlines in the news strike too close to home, we feel powerless. Wildfires are fast, fierce, and often unpredictable; they have been known to ravage our most iconic scenic vistas, such as the Blue Ridge Mountains. They can also impact our own backyards. We are not powerless. While wildfires spread based on a number of factors, such as the weather and prevailing winds, we can all do our parts to create “defensible” spaces. Smart landscaping can, and does, help fight wildfires. 

Smart Landscaping Can Help Slow Wildfires

Creating Defensible Spaces

A defensible space is an area around your home or building from which you clear or treat vegetation and other fuels to slow the spread of wildfires. In some states and cities, there are mandatory guidelines regarding defensible spaces; in California, for example, you need to have a 100-foot zone. This varies, and even if your area does not have such a mandate, it is helpful to implement some safety steps:

  • Make sure your space contains well-watered, low-growing, and fire-resistant plants (e.g. lawns, succulents)
  • Incorporate hardscaping elements, such as rock, brick, stone pathways, gravel walkways, etc.
  • Remove dead and dried organic materials (e.g. leaf litter, tall grass, fallen branches, etc.)
  • Thin crowded trees and shrubs
  • Prune branches that are near the roof
  • Water adequately and do a deep watering once a month during summer and fall
  • Think about fire-resistant plans, such as deciduous trees and shrubs, succulents, and creeping phlox

A defensible space does not need to look barren or unattractive. In fact, with the right landscaping professionals on your side, you can create a welcoming, relaxing environment that you will love to nurture and enjoy. Contact Garrett’s Landscape & Grading for help protecting your property from wildfires.