WILDFIRE

Smart landscaping could prevent future wildfire home damage, injury

Jun 7, 2021, 7:00 AM | Updated: 7:05 am

lehi water restrictions, wildfire landscaping...

Wildfire-blackened hillsides like this one above Lehi, pictured on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, could be even drier this summer with much of the state facing drought conditions. Photo: Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah is in a drought, it’s dry out there, you know this; but have you thought about how much landscaping could keep your home safer from wildfire damage?

Utah State University says the risk of a home burning is a direct correlation to nearby flammable material. Forestry experts say a few hours of yard work could prevent the unthinkable from happening as we get deeper into this year’s fire season and with an ongoing drought.

USU suggests we can preemptively help firefighters and increase safety by doing simple things like keeping leaves or pine needles from accumulating, pruning trees and bushes, and making sure wooded areas around the property are thinned out and far from homes.

Don’t assume your safety

USU extension forestry specialist Dr. Michael Kuhns says people often think their homes will be fine if a wildfire approaches. He warns simply evacuating during an emergency does not keep your home protected.

“It takes an acreage or area bigger than most people own to have control over so that you’re pretty sure you won’t suffer fire disaster,” says Dr. Kuhns. “You’re really not out from under hazard until you’re maybe 150 feet or so from the structure.”

Since many of us don’t own acres upon acres of land, there are some simple steps we can take right now.

“The plants you use, how you arrange them in the landscape, and then how you maintain them. Those three areas are the most important,” explains Dr. Kuhns.

You don’t have to do it alone

As with most problems in life, they are sometimes best tackled with a little help. Dr. Kuhns says that goes for “firewise landscaping,” too.

“Not that many people have 150 feet all the way around their property,” says Dr. Kunhns. “Therefore, they need to know their neighbors in regard to what they’re doing about fire and what they can do together.” 

Unfortunately, he says most people probably don’t have those conversations with people living nearby. He suggests starting that ritual ASAP.

There are plenty of other ways to protect your property. Dr. Kuhns wrote a booklet with Utah State University on this very topic.

The booklet is called “Firewise Landscaping for Utah” and you can download a free PDF copy here.

 

Other Reading:

Scout camp evacuated as wildfire burns near Soldier Summit

“Nothing looks good” preparing for summer wildfire season

Fire Safety in Utah is crucial during wildfire season

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Wildfire

Wildfire Academy students dig a handline, Monday, March 11, 2024, in Prescott, Ariz. Forecasters ar...

TY ONEIL Associated Press

U.S. wildfires are prompting changes in firefighting workforce

Forecasters are warning that the potential for wildfires will be above normal in some areas across the United States over the coming months as temperatures rise and rain becomes sparse.

11 days ago

texas wildfires...

Associated Press

Wildfire grows into one of largest in Texas history as flames menace multiple small towns

Known as the Smokehouse Creek Fire, the largest blaze expanded to more than 1,300 square miles and jumped into parts of neighboring Oklahoma.

2 months ago

After starting the new year with poor air quality, Utah may finally be able to take a breath and fi...

Heather Peterson

New black carbon sensor is more portable but just as accurate, study finds

A new study from the University of Utah finds that recently released black carbon new units are just as accurate in detecting black carbon, but they are more portable and affordable.

2 months ago

Cane toads produce poison in large glands perched on their shoulders that's fatal for some animals....

Hilary Whiteman, CNN

This warty, toxic pest threatens entire ecosystems. These scientists have a secret weapon

Originally Published: 19 JAN 24 18:42 ET Updated: 19 JAN 24 21:50 ET Brisbane, Australia (CNN) — On the edge of a dark, suburban park in Brisbane, teams of volunteer toad-catchers gather around Gary King as he shoves another squirming specimen into a cooler box. “Who’s got some more?” asks King, a local leader of […]

3 months ago

When officials arrived at the scene of a housefire in Deweyville in the overnight hours of March 7,...

Curt Gresseth

Firefighters’ chili cook-off raises money for burn camp and survivors

A Utah firefighter and a burn survivor talk about an upcoming chili cook-off to support a burn camp program.

6 months ago

Fire danger is on the rise across the state, thanks to the wind blowing and drying things out. Wind...

Heather Kelly

Health-related issues from wildfire smoke are on the rise

Wildfire smoke is causing health-related issues to increase in certain parts of the United States.

7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Smart landscaping could prevent future wildfire home damage, injury