Firescaping Your Home
A Manual for Readiness in Wildfire Country
by Adrienne Edwards; Rachel Schleiger
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Pub Date 20 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 11 Jul 2023
This hardworking, actionable guide is a must-have for homeowners looking to fight the risks of wildfire spreading to their homes and property.Wildfires are burning over longer seasons and more intensely than ever before, and everyone living in a wildland-urban interface or wildland-adjacent area should take precautionary steps to mitigate the risk of property damage. In Firescaping Your Home, Adrienne Edwards and Rachel Schleiger provide expert guidance and specific recommendations on how to harden your home against fire and create defensible space that is lush and attractive. They also provide in-depth native plant lists of hundreds of species that have evolved to coexist with fire in the West, and show how and why including these on your property sustains wildlife and can actually be your most powerful defense.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 6 members
Really enjoyed reading this book. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I find myself worrying about wildfires every summer now. They are just becoming so prevalent. The author does a very good job of explaining fire behavior and just how fire can enter your home. She provides great advice on how to build your home to minimize the fire risk, and how to landscape your grounds to do the same. I will be buying copies of this book to give to several of my friends who live in Eastern Washington (where the fires become rampant every year now). I hope it helps them!
I shoved this one up my reading list after noticing news stories on local and state fire crews training for the upcoming fire season. As too many know personally, fire season can start in the blink of an eye, so seemed like a good idea to share this book now, not later.
Albeit it targets the Pacific Northwest, much of the information shared is relevant to most areas. The authors, however, do note that one needs to focus on local conditions and trends, whether deciding where to build (or not build) or deciding what materials, not to mention plants, trees, grasses, etc, would be most helpful where you live. Although I'll admit I was expecting more of a cut-and-dried "If....do this" type format, the authors make a point of explaining the "why" behind their cautions and suggestions. Both authors, I'll note, have had frightening encounters with fire in their own lives and their genuine concern shines through.
I won't attempt to detail the info. I'll just say it's obviously well-researched and based on fact. Again, as noted, the authors point out that what is appropriate in one area, whether building or the likes of the flowers you use, may not work in another place. In other words, what would work in the cooler mountains of the Pacific Northwest probably wouldn't even grow as well in the hot climate of, say, Arizona. Yes, building materials are building materials but your buffer line of nature varies. Native plants are usually the best choice.
That said, they do an excellent job offering info on everything from deck styles and the impact of urban planning and climate change to how to pick and start the selected new growth. Maybe more important for those without a natural green thumb, they show and tell us how to maintain such growth.The book is nicely illustrated with color photos as well as boxed lists, charts, and illustrations. Example? How to prune trees and bushes. Something everyone can take from the book no matter their location. Also, they point out that fast growing plants are more flammable than slow growing types. Heck, they even explain how to tell if your plants need water. Having over-watered way more than I care to admit, I learned something.
Bottom line, particularly if you're in the Pacific NW, I highly recommend this book. For those who don't, you'll find it useful, with suggestions that can be used anywhere. I'll also note that both on and offline resources are included, as well as source notes and an extensive index. Get this book. Fire season isn't that far away, alas.
Thanks #NetGalley and #TimberPress for sharing this great resource book with me. While I've never been impacted by wildfire, I've had it come close and know people who lost homes to them. Kudos to the authors for trying to help us all stay safer.