Drought and your Property's Vegetation

Blog Post created by luciandeaton Employee on Sep 4, 2014

Articles this past weekend from Bloomberg and The L.A. Times caught my eye as the southwest continues to face growing impacts of the prolonged drought.  Both detailed state legislation sent to California Gov. Jerry Brown that would require local governments to develop groundwater regulations and empower the state to enforce groundwater use restrictions. 

LATimes Drought Photo Allen J. Schaben -20140619-027photo credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Prolonged drought and its risk to vegetation around the home are important considerations for Firewise principles.  Dry shrubs and mulch near the home can pose a risk in what we call the “Home Ignition Zone”, as can dry ladder fuels and accumulation of vegetation debris around the property.  On days of inceased wildfire risk, existence of drought calls for heightened situational awareness by homeowners to keep the risk of blowing embers from communicating fire from the wildland to the built environment.   

NFPA’s Home Ignition Zone page has a great introductory video from Gary Marshall, former deputy fire chief in Bend, Oregon, where he explains outdoor maintenance issues for homeowners in the WUI

A recent post in Fine Gardening also explores Firewise Landscaping and how it can promote defensible space.  The Firewise state-by-state plant list can help you understand vegetation issues in your state.  I also ran across this infographic by the California Urban Forest Council on tree health during a drought that is helpful.