Pages from FIR_FireResPlants_07As homeowners build in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), they must take special precautions to protect their lives, homes, and property. One way to do this is to create a defensible space around your home. This is the area between your home or other structures, where potential fuel (materials or vegetation) have been modi-fi ed, reduced, or cleared to create a barrier and slow the spread of wildfi re toward your home.

A defensible space also allows room for firefighters to fight the fire safely. Three critical steps in creating a defensible space include using fire-resistant building materials (for example, roofing materials), reducing wildland fuels around the home, and using fire-resistant plant material in the landscape.

What are fire- resistant plants?

Fire-resistant plants are those that do not readily ignite from a flame or other ignition sources, such as embers. These plants can be damaged or even killed by fire; however, their foliage and stems do not significantly contribute to the fuel and, therefore, the fire’s intensity. There are several other significant factors that influence the fire characteristics of plants, including plant moisture content, age, total volume, dead material, and chemical content.

BUT Fire-resistant
does not mean fireproof. Even if you have fire resistant plants in your landscaping be sure to keep them irrigated and maintained. Plants that are fire-resistant have the following characteristics:

• Leaves are moist and supple.
• Plants have little dead wood and tend not to accumulate dry, dead material within the plant.
• Sap is water-like and does not have a strong odor.
• Sap or resin materials are low.

Follow this link for a full guide of Fire Resistant Plants