Almost every state is experiencing wildfires that rage out of control. While the largest and most devastating are in the West, fires can and most often do spread into the suburbs where homes meet the country and the country meets the city and the city meets the unattended open range lands. We've had our share of wildfires here in West Texas and although the recent rains helped knock down several area fires, more can be expected to pop up from time to time. Homeowners can avoid wildfires and protect their properties in two ways:One, is by designing and maintaining landscaping that is not fire friendly. Build using fire resistant materials. Fires need fuel, like dead trees, shrubs and dead grasses.

Two, is by reducing the amount of fuel around your home. Your land needs an area of reduced fuels between your home and the undeveloped land around you. This provides enough distance between a building and a fire to ensure that your home will more likely survive without firefighters.

Clear all dead branches that hang near or over your roof. Leaves, needles and other dead vegetation should not be allowed to build up on the roof, near the homes foundation and in the gutters.

In these parts of the country where wildfires are a high-hazard area, a clearance of between 50 and 100 feet between dwelling and range land should be maintained.

“While no landscape is fireproof, there are steps you should take to reduce the danger” says Tchukki Andersen, BCMA, staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association. The Tree Care Industry Association offers these tips for your landscape to combat wildfires.

Professional arborist can assess your landscape and work with you in creating a safer, more fire-resistant landscape. Contact the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), a public and professional resource on trees and arboriculture since 1938. An easy way to find a tree care service provider in your area is to use the “Locate Your Local TCIA Member Companies” program. You can use this service by calling 1-800-733-2622 or by doing a ZIP Code search on

Source: Tree Care Industry Association