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Justin White, Landscaping Lessons | Preparing for wildfire season Part 3

Following up from the last Landscaping Lesson, this week we’ll jump into what you need to know for keeping your property more fire safe, specifically in Zone 1.

Zone 1: 30 feet of “Lean, Clean & Green” in all directions of your structure(s). This first perimeter of defense includes keeping tree branches 10 feet from any structure, removing dry needles and leaves from your roof, rain gutters or yard, and clearing out all dead weeds, grass, or plants. Wood piles should also be relocated out of Zone 1 and into Zone 2.

Here are some ideas that you can use to harden your property in Zone 1:

Remove all dead plants, dry brush and weeds.

If you have natural land within Zone 1, consider re-landscaping that area with fire-smart planting to reduce the amount of weeds and brush.

Remove leaves, pine needles or other debris that pile up in your yard. If you have pine trees or another conifer, it’s important to rake the needles up on a bi-weekly basis to ensure embers aren’t able to land and catch fire on the ground.

Remove any leaves or debris that may have accumulated in drainage swales, gutters or other open holes.

Prune tree branches to provide a minimum of 10 feet of clearance from all structures. This is one that I see most mountain homes in violation of and it’s the easiest way for a fire to spread to your structure.

Skirt trees up the trunk so that a ground fire cannot easily move into the canopy. This is called the ladder effect and can be easily prevented.

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