How to Create a Fire Resistant Yard

These past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about fire resistant landscaping.

As some of you might know, I was raised in Northern California.

Over the past several months, large portions of Northern California have burnt in some of the largest wildfires ever recorded in the area. It is devastating for the many people who have lost loved ones in these fires. It is also difficult to imagine how many people have lost their homes and all of their possessions over the last several months. I hope that we can all pray for and send our aid to those affected.

Now, this made me think. Northern California isn’t the only area that is affected by wildfires. I hear about fires in Southern California every year. Not to mention all the other fires that happen throughout the United States. So what can we do to help with all of this, as well as to help protect our own homes? We can create a fire-resistant yard!

Let’s help out our local firefighters and create spaces where they can be safe, while they protect our homes and our lives.

*Note: This is not meant to be fire insurance. Fire damage is dependent upon the strength of the fire, as well as the weather conditions. There is no guarantee that your home will not be affected by nearby fires.*

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Here’s how to create a fire-resistant yard:

Mark a space all around your home that is at least 30 feet wide. Designate this as the fire-safe zone!

Remove all dead and dying plant material, as well as any trash or weeds that are also flammable. Make sure to rake up all leaves and pine needles and to also remove them from rooftops and rain gutters. Also remove any wood piles from within this 30 foot radius.

Give the plants space! Trim back any tree branches that are touching (leaving a minimum of 10 feet between branches). Trim bushes and grasses to keep space open around them.  Also trim up tree branches to keep space open between tops of shrubs and low-hanging limbs. Make sure that there is also space between shrubs and the sides of the house and that there are no tree branches overhanging the roof.

Consider installing non-flammable hardscape within this area. This would be materials such as pavers, gravel, and stone.

Last, but definitely not least, consider replacing some of your plant material with fire-resistant plants. This doesn’t mean to just plant cactus and succulents (though if it’s what you want, then go for it!). But there are many different types of beautiful plants that are resistant to fire. Check out my list here!

So that’s my list of things to do to make your yard more fire resistant. Let’s do our part to keep our homes, our neighborhoods, and our firefighters safe from wildfires!

Happy Digging!

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