Tips to protect your home from wildfires through landscaping

Idaho boosts 2016 wildfire protection budget
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 19:55:31-04

BOISE, Idaho — As we enter wildfire season, it's important to know how to keep your home safe and one way is through landscaping and gardening.

Excessive heat means everything from fireworks to dry grass is a wildfire threat, so the vegetation around your home is important. Experts say even homes miles away from potential wildfire zones like the foothills are still at risk.

One way to lessen the risk is by planting firewise, or fire-resistant, plants.

firewise plants

“There’s lots of perennials that we have here at far west that are great that you could use. Dianthus, they have like a carnation smell, they’re great. Low growing so you don’t have ladder fuels that will like fly up into trees and set roofs on fire,” FarWest plant consultant, Bonnie Belcher said.

Some other examples of firewise flowers are the evening primrose, penstemon and hardy ice plants. The bottom line with firewise plants, though, is to choose low-growing plants with high moisture content.

Belcher adds, "It doesn't have to be a desert-looking plant, you can get a lot of greenery."

Another firewise step is to prune tree limbs six to ten feet from the ground and remove shrubs underneath trees because these can act as ladder fuels. It's also important to group small numbers of plants into separate clusters.

Boise Fire station No. 1 Firewise Demonstration

One example of firewise landscaping is in front of Boise Fire Station No. 1. There's another example at the botanical gardens.