Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Lifestyles

June 7, 2014

FIRE WISE AND WATER SMART

By HELEN PEMBERTON | Palo Pinto County Master Gardener

A nice damp, 30-foot-wide, low-growing landscape is the best way to stop a wildfire.

BUT WAIT! Palo Pinto County (and most of the American West) is in a terrible drought. We can no longer tolerate golf course lawns and thirsty flowers. What is a house-proud homeowner to do?

The primary goal for Firewise landscaping is to reduce the fuel available to a wildfire if one should occur in Palo Pinto County. People who are constructing a new home can arrange stone or concrete patios and driveways around the home to create the 30-foot “defensible zone.” They can use concrete board to build decks and wrap the exterior of the home in stone, stucco or concrete siding. They can choose to limit tall trees to the outer perimeter of the property and they can plant islands of medium-sized trees surrounded by nonflammable borders. They can plan an attractive rainwater collection system and use drip irrigation around the perimeter of the new home.

Owners of existing homes can and should take a hard look at their landscapes. In town or out of town, trees need to be kept away from the roofs of our homes. “Ladders” of fuel need to be removed from the base of trees. That means limbs need to be trimmed up 6 to 10 feet off the ground. Understory trees and shrubs need to be moved to their own little islands away from the house and away from the large trees.

Any burnable object that could be a ladder for fire should be removed from the base of a large tree (art, motorized vehicle, propane tank, firewood).

Old planting beds surrounding an existing home need to be re-evaluated. If shrubs have gotten large and crowded, they need to be removed. They would be ladders for a wildfire to reach the eaves of a home. Some of the old standby “dry landscape” plants, like ground-hugging juniper, yew and rosemary are not good choices for a perimeter landscape because their foliage contains volatile oils that can cause a fireball around the home in a wildfire situation. Things like salvia, earth-kind roses and skullcap tend to be less flammable. In general, smaller, airy plants, surrounded by rock mulch and watered with drip irrigation can provide some protection from fire.

Text Only
Lifestyles
  • don newbury.jpg THE IDLE AMERICAN: Old, new, borrowed, blue ...

    Dissection of notes found in the pocket of an old suit isn’t easy. Maybe they were scrawled during the lull in a wedding ceremony, or to jog my memory of a joke for later use.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • larry jones.jpg NOW HEAR THIS: The blessing of memories

    Many years ago, shortly after I retired from the Navy, I was sitting around shooting the breeze with my brother David when he remarked that he regretted never serving in the military and experiencing the things I had seen.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0720 life birth Kendal MaCrae Chriestenson.jpg BIRTH: Kendal MaCrae Chriestenson

    Robert and Terrie Chriestenson are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Kendal MaCrae Chriestenson.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • THE IDLE AMERICAN

    In 1949, when Stilwell, Oklahoma’s, “Strawberry Festival” was just one year old, crooners were applauded when they cut loose with “Dear Hearts and Gentle People.”

    July 13, 2014

  • NOW HEAR THIS

    During this past Fourth of July weekend, I did what I frequently do.

    July 13, 2014

  • Texas Master Gardeners logo.jpg Master gardeners seek a few good members

    Master gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens. They are enthusiastic, willing to learn, willing to help others and able to communicate with diverse groups of people.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • BandNatNEMall6.jpg Warfield’s ghost story featured on the Internet

    The web publisher Every Day Fiction announced on its blog it will feature Gerald Warfield’s “beautiful ghost story” in its Father’s Day edition.

    June 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • FIRE WISE AND WATER SMART

    A nice damp, 30-foot-wide, low-growing landscape is the best way to stop a wildfire.

    June 7, 2014

  • Caring for those who have borne the battle

    With all the recent controversy surrounding the healthcare provided to our veterans by the Department of Veterans Affairs, I can’t resist the opportunity to weigh in with a few thoughts of my own.

    June 7, 2014

  • Seibert, Sue 2010.jpg SEIBERT: Reflections on summertime ...

    Well, the time is here once again. We had a little winter this year, but summer is upon us. We’re having temperatures in the 90s, and very little rain appears to be in sight. I would not trade to live in any state other than Texas, you understand, but summer is surely not my favorite season of the year.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug galleries

Front page
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Must Read