creating a fire-safe landscape
@ cornerstone sonoma
april 8, 2018
We are reminded by the recent wild fires in and around our communities that our summer-dry landscapes are fire-prone. For fire safety, both rural and urban areas will want to consider how and what they plant, and how to manage their landscapes to protect their homes and keep susceptibility to a minimum.
Fire resistant landscapes have strategically spaced low-flammability plants to reduce the amount of potential fuels (vegetation) that could ignite structures or carry flame across the landscape. Plant spacing is not contiguous. Plants are watered regularly but appropriately to their needs. Well-hydrated plants take longer to ignite than plants with low moisture content. Shrubs and trees are spaced widely and don't touch or hang over structures. Trees are limbed up to avoid a 'ladder' effect of flames climbing to crowns. Low growing plants are used around decks and under windows in place of foundation plantings. Weeds and dried grass are kept mowed low.
A fire-resistant garden doesn't have to lack in beauty or interest. Many highly floriferous hummingbird, butterfly, and bee-friendly plants are good choices for a fire-resistant garden. With all of these factors in mind, how do we evaluate and renovate existing landscapes, or create a new garden for fire safety, and make changes to create a more fire-safe situation? We will learn the process to fire-safe landscapes in this informative class.
We focus on organic, ecologically sound practices appropriate to those living in dry-summer climates of the United States.
This course will focus on how to set up and maintain a fire-safe landscape.
Discussion will include:
- Understanding the wildland-urban interface fire problem
- Site analysis
- Creating defensible space
- Design & management
- Appropriate plant varieties in fire-prone areas
Delicious pastries and coffee will be served.