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Fire Safe Garden
This garden feature was funded by the San Luis Obispo County Community Fire Safe Council.
The Fire Safe plot shows principles of landscaping in zones as outlined by CalFire for fire risk reduction. These fire safe principles are especially important to gardeners who live in wild land and urban interfaces in San Luis Obispo county.
The plot utilizes plants and materials that are not easily ignited such as low growing herbaceous plants that are well hydrated, with few woody plants. The selected plants either have high moisture content in the leaves and stems that require little supplemental watering or they create little biomass when burning. The selected plants are slow growing, accumulate minimal seasonal dead vegetation or leaf litter, and exhibit an open branching growth habit. They contain little or no flammable oils or resins.
Plant and mulch choices, plant spacing, and maintenance also play an important role in reducing the risk of fire being carried from the landscape to a home or structure. Pruning and thinning are also required to reduce fire laddering and control fuel load.
The non-combustible zone within 3 feet of a structure consists of the patio and pathway. This zone is demonstrated in the plot.
The home defense zone is within 30 feet of a structure and contains low growing, low fuel shrubs with a less combustible mulch that allows space for fire fighters. This zone is demonstrated in the plot.
The reduced fuel zone extends to a minimum of 100 feet, and is not demonstrated in the plot due to space limitations.