Levy County Emergency Management Emergecny Operations Center located in Bronson Florida is the direction and control facility for Levy County in times of disaster.
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Section: 5

Wildland fires destroy hundreds of homes and acres of land every year across the country. Fire-safe landscaping is an effective tool that creates an area of defensible space between your home and flammable vegetation that protects against devastating fires.

The Levy County Emergency Managemnt Office encourages you to keep fire safety at the forefront by learning how to landscape and maintain your property to minimize possible fire damage and slow fires if they start. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility... Fire Stops With You!


Are You At Risk?

If you aren't sure whether your house is at risk from wildfires, check with your local fire marshall, build-ing official, city engineer, or planning and zoning administrator. They can tell you whether you are in a wildfire hazard area. Also, they usually can tell you how to protect yourself and your house and property from wildfires.

What You Can Do?

Wildfire protection can involve a variety of changes to your house and property -- changes that can vary in complexity and cost. You may be able to make some types of changes yourself. But complicated or large-scale changes and those that affect the structure of your house or its electrical wiring and plumbing should be carried out only by a professional contractor licensed to work in your state, county, or city. One example of wildfire protection is removing vegetation, yard debris, and other combustible materials that may be near your house. This is something that many homeowners can probably do on their own.


Tips for a Fire-safe Landscape

  • Create a defensible space perimeter by thinning trees and brush within 30 feet around your home.
  • Beyond 30 feet, remove dead wood, debris and low tree branches.
  • Eliminate small trees and plants growing under trees. They allow ground fires to jump into tree crowns.
  • Space trees 30 feet apart and prune to a height of 8 to 10 feet.
  • Place shrubs at least 20 feet from any structures and prune regularly.
  • Plant the most drought-tolerant vegetation within three feet of your home and adjacent to structures to prevent ignition.
  • Provide at least a 10 to 15 foot separation between islands of shrubs and plant groups to effectively break-up continuity of vegetation.
  • Landscape your property with fire-resistant plants and vegetation to prevent fire from spreading quickly.

Choose Fire Resistant Materials

  • Check your local nursery or county extension service for advice on fire resistant plants that are suited for your environment.
  • Create fire-safe zones with stone walls, patios, swimming pools, decks and roadways.
  • Use rock, mulch, flower beds and gardens as ground cover for bare spaces and as effective firebreaks.
  • There are no "fire-proof" plants. Select high moisture plants that grow close to the ground and have a low sap or resin content.
  • Choose plant species that resist ignition such as rockrose, iceplant and aloe.
  • Fire-resistant shrubs include hedging roses, bush honeysuckles, currant, cotoneaster, sumac and shrub apples.
  • Plant hardwood, maple, poplar and cherry trees that are less flammable than pine, fir and other conifers.

Maintain Your Home and Surrounding Property

  • Maintain a well-pruned and watered landscape to serve as a green belt and protection against fire.
  • Keep plants green during the dry season and use supplemental irrigation, if necessary.
  • Trim grass on a regular basis up to 100 feet surrounding your home.
  • Stack firewood at least 30 feet from your home.
  • Store flammable materials, liquids and solvents in metal containers outside the home at least 30 feet away from structures and wooden fences.
  • No matter where you live, always install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new long-life smoke alarms.
Are you ready for a Wildfire? Adobe PDF
Fire Landscape Safety Adobe PDF
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