The VFD has begun a program of community education, risk evaluation, and mitigation to help address the problem before disaster strikes.
This page is under active development, so please check back often!
Around Your Home and Property
Landscaping can serve as a fuel break by limiting flammable vegetation and materials surrounding the home where an ember could land and start a fire. Consider the entire “home ignition zone,” which extends up to 200 feet from the home. Your property does not have to be bare of vegetation to be protected.
Zone 1 – Up to 30 feet from the home.
This area should be well-irrigated and free from fuels that may ignite your home, such as dry vegetation, clutter and debris.
- Plants in this area should be limited to carefully spaced plantings that are low-growing and free of resins, oils and waxes that burn easily. (Number 1)
- Mow the lawn regularly. Prune all trees so the lowest limbs are at least 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
- Space flammable conifer trees 30 feet between crowns to reduce the risk of crown fire.
- Within 5 feet of the home, use nonflammable landscaping materials, such as rock, pavers and perennials with high-moisture content.
- Remove dead vegetation, such as leaves and pine needles, from gutters, under your deck and within 10 feet of your home.
- Firewood stacks and propane tanks should not be located in this area. Keep them at least 30 feet from the home.
- Water plants and trees regularly to ensure that they are healthy and green, especially during fire season.
Zone 2 – Between 30 and 100 feet from the home.
Plants in this zone should be low-growing, well irrigated and less flammable.
- Leave 30 feet between clusters of two to three trees, or 20 feet between individual trees.
- Encourage a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees. Most deciduous trees do not support high-intensity fires.
- Give yourself added protection with “fuel breaks,” such as driveways, gravel walkways and lawns.
- Prune trees so branches and leaves are at least 6 to 10 feet above the ground.
Zone 3 – Between 100 and 200 feet from the home.
This area should be thinned out as well, though less space is required than in Zone 2.
- Remove heavy accumulation of woody debris.
- Thin trees to remove smaller conifers.
- Reduce the density of tall trees so canopies are not touching.