Firewise Landscaping is a work published by the Utah DNR, USFS and Utah State University. It is an excellent fire awareness and fire preparedness resource for any home owner, but is especially helpful for home and property owners with real estate surrounded by or borderng wooded areas, open range and forest lands. Useful informative categories include:
- The Urban-Wildland Interface
- How do Wildfires Behave?
- Property Selection and Construction
- Firewise Landscape and the Home Ignition Zone
- Firewise Landscape Design
- Landscape Maintenance
- Plant Selection, including Grasses, Ground Covers, Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
- Other Fire Safety Factors
- Many additional resources
The information is specific to and written for Utah, but the recommendations and practical application have broad appeal and transfer to many ecosystems. A excerpt from the booklet:
As population grows, development merges into wildlands. New developments spring up within wildlands, including everything from a cabin in the woods to hundreds of vacation homes on slopes scattered through the forest. These areas are called the wildland-urban interface (WUI), where the places we live and play meet the wilds.
These wildlands carry a substantial risk of burning in a wildfire due to accumulated fuel such as dried grass, trees and brush. Many of the plant species in such areas are readily adapted to wildfire, so their means of reproduction, fire survival strategies, and growth habits all contribute to making fire a natural and common part of these landscapes. Cultivated landscapes within WUI areas, with mown grass, pruned trees, and carefully placed groups of appro- priate vegetation, are less likely to burn. In these well-tended areas, continuous fuel corridors are disrupted, so fire is less likely to spread.
Firewise Landscaping for Utah describes how to create and maintain landscapes around homes, cabins and other buildings to reduce fire risks. Principles and suggestions for building placement, plant choice and placement, and landscape maintenance are explained. An extensive list and photos of firewise trees, shrubs, herbaceous peren- nials, and grasses are included. By using the information presented in this booklet, you can create a landscape on your property that will be as firewise as possible. Landscapes can never be fire-proof, but following these recommendations will give you and firefighters a greater chance of protecting your property, or of the property surviving even if firefighters can’t get to it.
You can download the booklet by clicking the link below. The link will open a new tab, file size is approximately 5MB