What is fire mitigation?
Fire mitigation removes fuels around your house that can create increased heat and exposure to your home in the event of a wildland fire. Wildland fires include grass fires, brush fires and forest fires. The impact of these fires can be minimized or mitigated by creating a defensible space and taking other actions to reduce the intensity of the fire and help fire crews fight fires that may threaten your home.
What is defensible space?
Defensible space is an area around your house where fuels and vegetation are treated, cleared or reduced to slow the spread of fire. This area allows firefighters to protect your home from an advancing wildfire. Without defensible space, firefighters cannot safely fight the fire and cannot put their lives at risk to protect property. By creating a defensible space, you increase the odds of your house surviving a wildland fire. Thinning trees, removing brush, mowing grass, and limbing up trees near the house reduces the intensity of the fire around your home. Creating breaks in the vegetation, including breaks between trees, around your house provides natural barriers that help firefighters slow the fire and reduce potential loss.
The purpose of defensible space is to prevent fire from moving from your home to the forest, and vice versa, as well as to provide firefighters with adequate room to maneuver.
Protecting Your Property and Your Family
As the pine beetle epidemic has spread across Colorado and killed millions of lodgepole pines, the risk for wildfires has intensified.
At Front Range Arborists, we’re strong proponents of aggressive fire mitigation plans. The U.S. Forest Service has determined that a home’s ability to survive a wildfire largely depends on the quality of the “defensible space” around the building.
Goal of Fire Mitigation
- To improve the safety of your family in the chance that a forest fire should impede onto your property.
- To give your home a chance to survive a forest fire on its own.
- To improve the health of your lot and surrounding forest to help facilitate a disease free environment.
- To increase the value, look cleaner and have better views
In a typical fire mitigation plan, there are three zones that should be created around each building on the property (including homes, detached garages, storage buildings, workshops, sheds, and barns).
Zone I – Removal
All vegetation within 15 feet of the building should be removed, as measured from the edge of the eaves or decks. This includes grasses, brush, shrubs, and trees – all of which become fuel in the event of a fire.
Zone II – Reduction
Depending on the slope of the property, Zone II extends out 75-125 feet from the building. Dead, dying, diseased, and stressed trees should be removed in this zone. Trees should be thinned, leaving 10 feet of space between the crowns of the trees.
Zone III – Forest Management
This outer zone extends from the edge of Zone II to the property line. The goal for this zone is to protect and enhance the health of the forest. A healthy forest includes a variety of ages, species and size of trees, all of which should be spread far enough apart to allow room for healthy growth.
As professional arborists, Front Range Arborists will help you design a forestry management plan that best suits your property.
Contact Front Range Arborists Inc. in Colorado Springs, CO
Based in Colorado Springs, CO, Front Range Arborists, Inc. offers arborist services including pest control and beetle prevention, fire mitigation, tree removal, tree trimming, and more tree services. Serving Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Fountain, Monument, Black Forest, Manitou Springs, and other surrounding areas. Call Front Range Arborists Inc. at (719) 227-1962 or use our online form for your free estimate today!
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