Fire Prevention in Garden Design


Around Europe, in the US, and on other parts of the globe, wildfires are raging. Unfortunately, human activity on this planet means that this is only a problem that will increase over the coming decades. It is a good idea to be aware of fire and fire safety when planning and designing gardens. Here are some fire prevention tips that you should consider when planning your garden:

Determine Fire Sectors

Good garden design can minimise the risk that your home or other buildings on your property will succumb to wildfire. When working out a fire-safe plan, the first thing you should do is determine where the fire will usually come from (prevailing wind direction... landscape features...) in your area. Once you have determined which direction fire is most likely to spread from, you will be able to create your fire-safe garden.


Consider Irrigation/ Pond/ Water

Of course fire control begins with an understanding of water and how that will behave on your property. When you control, store and utilise water effectively then you will be far less likely to encounter problems with wildfire destroying your property. Make sure that the area around your home and other buildings is well irrigated, with irrigation channels/ swales, ponds etc. that separate the incoming wildfire from your property. It is also a good idea to consider how water is stored in vegetation and to ensure healthy plant life that will burn far more slowly than bone-dry brush material.

Think About Fire Breaks

In order to have a fire-safe garden it is important to understand how wildfire spreads. Successful wind breaks in the right places can help to slow the spread of fire by reducing wind speeds/ strength. Hardstanding and driveways can help to prevent the spread of ground fires. Unfortunately, fire can spread upwards from the ground through shrubs and trees, and so such firebreaks can become ineffective. If you live in an area where wildfires are likely, it is a good idea to reduce the chances of fire spreading upwards from the ground by ensuring a gap between ground layer plants and the upper canopy.

Wood stack

Keep An Orderly Garden

In fire prone areas, it is important to keep the area around your home and other buildings clean and clear of plant-debris and other flammable items. Keep brush piles/ wood stacks far away from your home and make sure you are orderly and don't have a lot of clutter in your garden.