Defensible space is the concept of creating a barrier around your home that makes it harder for fire to spread, and easier for firefighters to fight and contain. Many homeowners think of defensible space and forest fire mitigation as an initial landscaping project that they don't have to worry about again. That's not what it's like at all. Defensible space is an ongoing thing throughout the time you own the house.
It's Not Just Your Home You're Protecting
It's easy to look at forest fire mitigation and defensible space as just protecting your own property. But you're also helping to protect everyone else. By making it harder for forest fires to spread via your trees and your home, you're making it harder for your neighbors' properties to spread the fire even further. You're a link in a chain when it comes to fire progression, and if you don't break that link by maintaining defensible space, you can make things worse for everyone around you.
This Needs to Be a Routine for Homeowners
Defensible space and tree pruning need to become routine for homeowners. This isn't something where you prune things back and that's it. You prune things back, remove leaf litter, get gutter guards, transplant shrubs, install more fire-resistant greenery, and so on at least every year, if not twice a year. Fire seasons are expanding in many areas of the country, so this is not a "one-and-done" thing. It's got to become part of your home maintenance routine for the best effect.
Times of Drought Are Particularly Urgent
When rain is abundant, plants and trees grow and grow. The landscape looks terrific and green. But when drought hits, all that new growth, along with old growth, dries out. If it stays dry for too long, it becomes a huge fuel source for forest and brush fires. You want to keep your landscaping well-trimmed to begin with; even if it's supposed to look "wild," it's going to be trimmed so it doesn't overwhelm your property. But in times of drought, you need to be extra vigilant about maintaining trees and other plants and removing dying or dead branches and other materials. Stay on top of it because if a fire comes near, you're not going to have time then to do the trimming.
Speak with a tree service about defensible space and what you might need to have pruned in your yard. Look into signing a contract for repeat tree services to reduce costs while still maintaining a fire-safe yard. For more information, contact a forest fire mitigation service near you.