FireWise

Ranch FireWise Recommendations

 

The primary goal of making your property “FireWise” is to create “defensible space” where fuels and vegetation are cleared or reduced to slow the spread of wildfire.  It also reduces the chance of a fire moving to the surrounding neighborhood and forest, and provides room for firefighters to do their jobs.

 

Information provided in the links below will assist you in determining the effort required to maintain your property in a “FireWise” manner.

 

City of Prescott Fire Department:  http://www.prescott-az.gov/_d/defensiblespace.pdf

 

National Fire Protection Association:  http://www.firewise.org/wildfire-preparedness/be-firewise/home-and-landscape.aspx

 

The following is a summary of these guidelines.  The Ranch at Prescott FireWise Committee recommends referring to the documents provided in the links above for specific details.

Zone 1    (0 to 30ft from building) Non Combustible Area

 

  • Remove all dead materials
  • Remove native brush from under trees
  • Trim all trees to where the lowest branches or canopy are above the roofline
  • Tree canopies shall be a minimum of 10 feet apart
  • Trim or prune shrubs/vegetation to a maximum height of 2 feet and provide a clear space around each plant of a least 4 feet. Shrubs that normally grow taller than 2 feet shall be removed rather than being improperly pruned. Exception: cultivated ground cover does not require clear space.
  • Remove all combustible materials and vegetation from under decks
  • Remove native brush and grass within 10 feet of buildings, structures and decks.
  • Prune trees 6 to 10 feet above the ground
  • No fire fuels stored in area
  • Low volume well irrigated vegetation only
  • Space conifers 30 feet between crowns
  • Plants should be carefully spaced and low growing - free of oils
  • Irrigate plants and trees regularly

 

 

 

Zone 2  (30 to 100 feet from building) Non-Sustainable Fire Area

 

  • Remove all dead material
  • Remove all ladder fuels by trimming, pruning or removing vegetation from under trees.  Distance to the lowest tree branches shall be a minimum of 3 times the shrub height
  • Tree limbs a minimum of 6 feet from the ground
  • Tree canopies shall be a minimum of 10 feet apart and no closer than 10 feet to any structure, unless trimmed above the roofline
  • Reduce the continuity of fuels by removing dead material and removing/thinning shrubs so that a person can walk between them.  Creating islands of shrubs/vegetation for wildlife habitat is recommended
  • Cut grasses to a maximum of 4 inches above ground level
  • Where vegetation is greater that 4 feet in height, create a clear space around each plant (or group of plants), twice the height of the plant in width
  • On slopes greater than 20% gradient, vegetation treatment shall be extended an additional 30 feet to a total of 130 feet from the structure, or to the property line.
  • Remove the most recent layer of under composed (light color) pin needle or leaf droppings.  The underlying darker, decomposing material should remain undisturbed.
  • Prune trees 6 to 10 feet above ground
  • Leave 20 feet between trees and 30 feet between clusters of 2-3 trees
  • Create fuel breaks

 

 

Zone 3   (100 to 200 feet from building and undeveloped properties) Reduced Fuel Zone Area

 

  • Remove all dead material
  • Remove all ladder fuels under trees
  • Distance to lowest tree branches minimum 3 times the brush height
  • Reduce tree canopies so they are not touching
  • Remove small conifers between big trees
  • Reduce the continuity of fuels by removing dead material and removing/thinning brush.

 

 

Zone 4     (Slopes greater than 20%) (Greater than 200 feet from building)

 

  • This zone is primarily a concern for homeowners whose home sits on or at the top of a slope.
  • Remove all dead material
  • Remove ladder fuels under trees

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