We are fortunate to be able to live in a very beautiful part of the Sonoran desert. Our Town is surrounded by it. We also have natural washes throughout the Town. It is all part of what makes our Town special and unique.
Unfortunately, in the summer months these beautiful natural desert areas along with invasive plants can dry out and become fuel for wildfire. There are things that we can do to be proactive in protecting our homes when these wildfires occur. The key concept is minimizing the continuity of the fuels around our homes.
This is known as creating a "defensible space." Defensible space is a 30-foot area around a structure where fuels and vegetation are cleared or reduced to slow the spread of wildfire towards the structure. It also reduces the chance of a structure fire moving from the building to the surrounding desert.
Defensible space provides room for firefighters to do their jobs. Your house is more likely to withstand a wildfire if grasses, brush, trees and other common desert fuels are managed to reduce a fire’s intensity. In this "defensible space," you should clear away all dead (not dormant) plants.
Removing Unwanted Plants
Remove weeds along with fast growing and hot burning invasive plants such as Desert Broom, Fountain Grass, Bromegrass and Salt Ceder. Trim away all dead tree branches. Trim low hanging tree branches to at least 4-feet above the ground. Also, you should remove branches that are close to your roof. The goal is to achieve a "park like" setting around your home.
Taking these simple steps will help the Fire Department to protect your home in the event of a wildfire. Also, please visit the Fire Wise website in order to get more information on protecting your property and your community.