The Role Of Tree Care In Fire Mitigation
Drought and carelessness have resulted in a wildfire season that lasts for months on the West Coast. Flora and fauna fall victim to the heat and flames, smoke and ash make the air unbreathable, and people are losing their homes and even their lives. As the fires creep closer, homeowners on the West Coast may be wondering what they can do to prevent the total loss of their houses and everything they own.
Fire mitigation is a series of actions homeowners can take toward fire damage prevention. Evaluating their property and taking certain steps may help keep wildfires at bay. Tree care is an important part of the fire mitigation process. Here’s how routine tree maintenance helps prevent fires.
How Fire Mitigation Guards Your Property Against Wildfires
Wildfire spreads unbelievably quickly, racing through dry, dormant underbrush, jumping from tree to tree, and consuming everything in its path. It’s not realistic to hope to stop a wildfire once it is raging, but there are a number of things homeowners can do to safeguard their property and homes.
Fire needs three things to burn: a spark (or ignition source), fuel, and oxygen. Deprive the fire of any one of those three things, and it will extinguish. Fire mitigation basically creates an area where fuel is limited, making that area unsustainable for wildfire. As the fire approaches the area, it will not find anything to consume and will move on to the next path of least resistance.
Tree Maintenance Steps Your Trees Need
Because trees are tall and wide and often planted close together, they are the perfect fuel for wildfire. This is especially true in the late summer and fall when trees are very dry. For this reason, a good fire mitigation plan starts with the trees.
Here are five tree maintenance steps you should take to prevent the spread of fire on your property:
- Dead branch removal: Throughout the growing season, mark all limbs that are not actively blooming and have them removed. Dead branch removal eliminates the driest, most dangerous part of the tree.
- Clearing: Completely clear the land 30 feet around every structure. Small, scattered trees are okay, but there should be no large trees overhanging the structure.
- Thinning: For the next 70 feet all around the structure, trees should be thinned. This is the selective removal of live branches, which makes the crown of the trees less dense. Thinning inhibits the spread of fire.
- Tree pruning: Tree trimming is important not only to remove dead branches but also to keep trees from crowding one another. Any branches that are touching other trees should be trimmed back, and any limbs hanging over a structure should be removed.
- Raking: All the space beneath the trees and around the home should be cleared of dead leaves, pine needles, and underbrush. Routine raking eliminates a prime wildfire fuel source.
Why You Should Consult A Professional Arborist
On the West Coast, proper tree care can mean the difference between life and death. Annual tree maintenance can prevent your property from being devoured by flames. Professional arborists have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to safely maintain your trees. With help from a professional, your fire mitigation plan will be more effective at stopping the spread of wildfires.
About Seattle Tree Care
Seattle Tree Care has been providing residential and commercial tree services since 2006. Their team of arborists is experienced in tree inspections, risk assessment, tree trimming, and pruning, stump grinding, and emergency tree services. The arborists at Seattle Tree Care are ISA certified and available for consultations and free estimates.