Creating a Firewise Landscape

One of the most important steps you can take to protect your home from wildfire is to create defensible space around your home.

DEFENSIBLE SPACE: The area between a structure (your home) and a wildfire where vegetation has been modified to reduce the intensity and ability of a wildfire to spread.

All vegetation, whether naturally occurring or purposefully planted, has potential to be fuel for a fire. There are no “fireproof” plant species. However, plant type, spacing, and maintenance should be considered when choosing a landscape.

PLANT TYPE
Plants that are more resistant to wildfire have these characteristics:
• A high moisture content, such as succulents and herbaceous plants.
• Do not accumulate large amounts of dead branches, needles, or leaves.
• Have a low resin content (avoid conifers: pines, firs, spruces, junipers, and cypress).
• Grow slowly and do not need frequent pruning.
• Can re-establish quickly following a fire, reducing the cost of planting new trees.

FIREWISE TREES:
Acer glabrum: Rocky Mountain maple
Acer negundo: Box elder
Celtis reticulata: Neatleaf hackberry*
Juglans major: Arizona walnut*
Populus tremeloides: Quaking aspen
Prunus virginiana: Western chokecherry*
Prunus Padus: Mayday Tree*
Robinia pseudoacacia: Black locust*
Gledita triacanthos: Honeylocust*
Malus sp: Crabapple*

FIREWISE SHRUBS
Amenlanchier utahensis: Utah serviceberry*
Amorpha fruticose: Indigobush*
Berberis fremonti: Creeping barberry*
Cercocarpus montanus: Mountain mahogany*
Penstemon spp.: Penstemon*

*Also on the Drought Tolerant Plant List

SPACING
Plants nearest your home should be widely spaced & smaller than those further in the yard. Plant Shrubs and trees in small, irregular clusters and islands, not closely spaced together. Add decorative walkways, such as stepping stones, rock or gravel to slow the spread of wildfire.

MAINTENANCE
Rake and dispose of litter from your plants. Remove annuals after they have gone to seed. Mulch helps conserve moisture & reduce weeds. It can be organic (wood chips) or inorganic (gravel), but avoid pine bark/pine needles. During winter, water plants closest to the house.

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