The beautiful & fire-smart yard
How to plant a fire-smart yard (without turning it into a desert)
Your house doesn’t have to sit in a forest to be vulnerable to wildfire. Windblown embers can fly up to a mile in front of a fire. If they land on, say, a dried-out juniper in your yard, you could be in big trouble.
That’s why, if you live in a wildfire-prone part of the West, the first thing you need to do is create a fire-resistant space around your house.
Says Bob Roper, chief of the Ventura County Fire Department, “When firefighters drive up a street, they have to do triage”—decide which houses they have even a chance of saving. One protected by a defensible zone offers the best odds.