As we come into the bushfire season many people are thinking about updating their Fire Safety Plan. It’s extremely important to have a plan in place before the fire season starts so everyone in your household knows what to do, and when to do it in order to protect their lives and the lives of your animals and livestock.
This includes removing debris from around your property, cleaning out the gutters, checking pumps and sprinklers systems, slashing the grass and trimming back the trees.
But how many of you know planting particular species can actually help reduce the impact of fire and contribute to our bushfire preparedness?
What is a firewise plant?
Firewise plants are plants which are tolerant or resist heat from a bushfire or are not combustible when the bushfire engulfs them. They usually do not burn when the first wave of the bushfire hits, are difficult to ignite, can give off steam, or will not produce flame or embers. These traits help to deprive the fire the fuel initially, slowing down the spread of the fire and allowing more time for people and animals to move out of the way.
No Plant is Fireproof
Everything can burn under extreme heat
Why should we be planting them?
Fully cleared and open areas allow winds to increase in speed as there is nothing in its pathway. This also helps embers spread many kilometers ahead of the fire. Planting a Green Wall of fire-wise species can help stop the embers and break up the wind pattern. Remember, ember attack is the most common way houses catch alight.
Firewise plant examples
Some examples of fire-wise plants are listed here. But the best firewise plants for your garden or farm will come from your own environment. Not sure what they are? Check in with your local native plant nursery, Landcare or Bushcare group, or local government environment officer to find out what is available in your area.
The following firewise plants examples have been kindly provided by the Lakes Entrance Community Landcare group:
- Sea Berry Saltbush (Rhagodia candolleana),
- Tree Hakea (Hakea eriantha),
- Boobialla (Myoporum insulare),
- Lilly Pilly (Acmena smithii)
- Kidney weed (Dichondra repens)