Plant watering tips for wildfire preparedness

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  • Establish and maintain a "greenbelt" of well-watered, low-growing, fire-resistant plants, like lawns and succulent groundcovers, around your home and other structures
  • Planting fire resistive plants is a good way to protect your home from wildfire. OSU Extension Service has an extensive guide on fire resistive plants for our area. Go to HERE for that brochure
  • Well-watered trees spaced in a staggered manner away from the house can act as a barrier to intercept and prevent wind-driven burning material from reaching the home. 
  • Many plants become highly flammable during summer and drought conditions if not watered properly. When you landscape ensure you space them well to reduce their chances of carrying fire.
  • Water-stressed plants burn readily. Water landscape plants adequately, as specified for the specific plant. Watering the plants regularly as per the instructions for the plants is much more effective than deep watering only in the event of a fire. Install a sprinkler system to make watering faster, easier, promotes water conservation and more effective than hand watering.
  • Deep watering only in the event of a fire is not an effective watering practice. Plants can only soak up so much water at one time, no mater if you water once a day or once a month. By watering regularly, plants can retain the most water and reduce the risk of drying out and becoming combustible. 
  • Also deep watering can cause several other issues - lack of water flow for fire fighting operations, can cause erosion problems and increase overall water usage in the community in a time of possible drought.
  • Fire operations water - fire hydrants and water for sprinklers are all on the same system. If everyone is watering, then there is less water available for fire hydrants
  • Erosion problems - since plants can only soak up so much water, any excess water from deep watering will run off and erode the ground, causing long term problems in the area
  • Water usage - in drought times, water supplies are limited and the higher the usage overall, the more stress on the system that is felt.