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A Recipe for Firewise Landscaping
Ingredients: Basic Principles, Simple Designs, Smart Plant Selections

Firewise landscaping or “Firescaping” involves the placement of appropriate plant species around your home and property in such a way that will prevent and minimize damage from wildfire, while also enhancing the beauty and value of the property.

In addition to providing increased protection for your home, a goal of firescaping is to help create a line of defense that will permit firefighters to focus often limited resources on stopping the fire rather than concentrating on attempting to save structures in the fire’s path.

While all plants can burn, none need to pose a significant risk of fire hazard to your home. Through careful consideration and selection, placement and maintenance of appropriate plants, Firewise landscaping can keep the flammability of your property to a minimum.

In aiming to reduce the wildfire susceptibility of your home and property, consider physical as well as natural features within the landscape. Some helpful tips include:

  • Eliminate fire ladders such as wood fences, decks, highly flammable plants, low hanging branches and other flammable materials that could transmit fire to a residence.
  • Consider using non-flammable masonry materials rather than wood.
  • Select low growing, succulent, less flammable and low-fuel plant species, especially close to the home or structure.
  • Keep vegetation and grass areas green and healthy.
  • Place metal screening over gutters to keep debris from collecting.
  • Ensure visible house numbering and good emergency vehicle access.
  • Chose decorative stone instead of mulch.
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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: October 3, 2008

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