Michigan winters keep the ground frozen for extended periods of time ever after the snow has melted, but as temperatures climb, the vegetation dries out and becomes a serious fire risk. Don’t let your home or property become victim to a brush fire. Maintaining your own property and landscape can help keep your property. Here are some tips to help:
Keep weeds trimmed, grass cut and brush groomed.
Remove dead and piled up vegetation, and dispose of it properly.
Properly dispose of trash and debris. Piles of refuse such as old furniture, boxes and pallets are fires waiting to happen. Even old cars can burn!
Stack firewood away from structures, fences or anything else that may be combustible.
If you live in an outlying or more rural area, consider these additional steps:
Create at least a 30-ft. safety zone or firebreak around your home.
Limit the use of flammable plants in landscape design. Choose fire resistant varieties.
Plant trees and large shrubs in sparse, separate areas.
Limit the use of trees and shrubs that have large volumes of foliage and branches.
Limit the use of plants that have shaggy bark or dry leaves that shed annually.
Limit the use of plants that develop dry or dead undergrowth.
Limit the placement of plants next to structures, under eaves, overhangs, decks, etc.
Limit the use of plants placed at the bases of trees or large shrubs.
Remove ladder fuels (plants that provide a link between the ground and tree limbs).
Conduct regular maintenance to reduce the opportunity for brush fires.
Remove low hanging branches. Also, remove tree limbs around chimneys.
Keep the roof clear. Sweep gutters and eaves, and wash the roof on a regular basis to get rid of dry needles and leaves.
Control the height of ground vegetation and mow the grass often.
Remove dead and accumulated vegetation, and dispose of it properly.
Provide enough water to keep plants healthy and green. Keep irrigation systems in good working order.
Top trees only when necessary as topping creates too many lower branches that can increase the fire danger.
Remove or thin the dead wood and the older trees beyond 100 feet from the house.