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  • Writer's pictureSilvia Gutierrez, GMC Editor

Landscaping for Fire Prevention

Updated: Dec 12, 2020

2020 was a record-breaking year in many categories. Over two million acres of land burned across California due to high temperatures and strong winds, making this a record year for fires.

Wildfires can quickly get out of control. It’s important to consider hardening the home by taking necessary measures to prepare for such events. Often times, the last thought a homeowner has when purchasing a home is how safe it will be in the case of a fire.

Here are some things to think about:

  • Wood and shingle-style roofs are the most vulnerable parts of a house during a fire.

  • Vents, chimneys and stovepipe outlets can be openings for flying embers.

  • Single-paned and large windows can break from the heat of a fire.

  • Walls made up of boards, panels or shingles are flammable.

  • Rain gutters should be kept clear of plant debris.

  • Garage doors should be installed with weather stripping.

  • Fences should be built with ignition-resistant or non-combustible fence materials.

Homeowners should familiarize themselves with the CA Building Code and the defensible fire-safe zones broken up by the first five feet around the house, up to 30 feet around the house and up to 100 feet around the house. Some of the ways to follow such codes are to consider what is placed within those zones and especially, what is planted.

GMC has proudly added a new online class to its repertoire on Landscaping for Fire Prevention, otherwise known as firescaping. The class can be found in its Remote Learning Center, currently available to be offered live and soon accessible On-Demand. It has been reviewed by the County of Los Angeles Fire Department.

The class covers tips on hardening the home and defensible actions that should be considered in the landscape such as the kinds of plants, their locations, the conditions they’re in and how they’re irrigated. For instance, vegetation is not recommended within five feet of structures and within the five to 30 feet zone, the area should be kept “leak, clean and green.” Also, how do drought-tolerant and CA native plants play a role in these situations?

Contact Silvia at or (747) 241-8555 for more information on how to schedule this class!

Helpful resources:

If you live in another state, contact your local fire department or Google websites and resources that are specific to your state’s conditions.

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