Noun 1.1 All the visible features of an area of countryside or land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal
Verb 1.2 Making area (a piece of land) more attractive by altering the existing design, adding ornamental features, and planting trees, flowers and shrubs.
Creating survivable space to strengthen the opportunity for lives and property to be safe during a wildfire event.
Design a route of evacuation to allow for safe egress and potentially safe lives and property.
"Please don't clear my property!"
This is a common statement from homeowners when the DH Firewise Team does grant assessments on properties. During each assessment the DH Firewise Team uses a form from the National Fire Prevention Agency (NFPA) that is an industry standard at the local, state and federal level. This form allows for us to align with transparent standards and ensure that each property is evaluated fairly. The home ignition zone structure assessment guide form is for your personal use. You will be given the form at the end of the assessment. There is no grade and no condemnation. The fuel reduction of your acreage will be discussed separately.
So, what is the difference between landscaping and firewise?
Landscaping is designing a visually pleasing environment that may include trimming or planting trees and flower beds, adding rock thus, making a yard or other piece of land attractive by altering the existing landscape.
Firewise is creating a survivable space by removal of wildfire fuels that creates a hazardous environment and blocks egress (accessible road) in the event of a wildfire. In a rural landscape islands of shrubs are created and trimmed up at their base to slow the spread and intensity of the fire. Trees are trimmed up 6 feet off the ground to eliminate ladder fuels.
The DHFW Team has partnered with experienced landscape contractors who have attended Firewise Assessor training from the Department of Forestry and Fire Management (DFFM).
What does that mean to you?
Current industry knowledge on fire behavior and assessment
Unique viewpoint and evaluation by and expert
Land that is properly serviced through organic reduction
On-site education and real-life application
The DHFW Team will guide you to these resources to ensure you have the greatest opportunity possible for the most effective process during the fuel mitigation process.
Here are a few questions to discuss with your qualified assessor trained contractor:
What direction would the fire most likely come from?
What is my best line of defense for my area?
Do I have any unique attributes to consider such as shake-shingles, trees close to the home, or dual access/egress?
Should I remove the duff or how do I safely recycle it?
If I have more questions, which agency should I contact?
Ultimately the choice is up to the homeowner whether you chose landscaping or Firewise, but they can co-exist.
(Please note that ANY information is shared with the intent to save lives. The DHFW Team and their partners are not liable for misinterpretation, misuse, or misunderstanding of any information in this blog. If you have questions specific to wildfires for our community, we ask that you contact CAFMA at 928-772-7711.)
BE YOUR OWN HERO