Firewise Landscaping for Horse Properties

Reducing your risk of wildfire begins with properly landscaping your property, called firewise landscaping, which is something most of us need to consider and plan for.
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Currently fires are raging in parts of California, Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma as well as in the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Minnesota and even Florida. Since September is still fire season for many parts of North America and since horse owners usually live in rural areas, I thought I would share some of what I learned this past month at a class I took on Firewise Landscaping.

Where Matt and I and the horses now live in southwestern Idaho, there is a greater need for wildfire awareness because of the dry desert climate paired with a high potential for lightning storms. Earlier this summer Matt and I went on a moonlight trail ride with horse friends in the Owyhee Mountains. A warm wind came up during our ride and off in the distance we could see ominously dark clouds and lighting strikes. By the next morning we learned that something like nine rangeland fires had started that night. Though we were far away, the smoke from those fires drifted in thickly over Treasure Valley the next day.

Reducing your risk of wildfire begins with properly landscaping your property, called firewise landscaping, which is something most of us need to consider and plan for. Firewise landscaping starts with looking at your defensible space–the area around your home or barn where vegetation is managed to reduce the chance of igniting during a wildfire.

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Written by:

Alayne Blickle, a lifelong equestrian and ranch riding competitor, is the creator/director of Horses for Clean Water, an award-winning, internationally acclaimed environmental education program for horse owners. Well-known for her enthusiastic, down-to-earth approach, Blickle is an educator and photojournalist who has worked with horse and livestock owners since 1990 teaching manure composting, pasture management, mud and dust control, water conservation, chemical use reduction, firewise, and wildlife enhancement. She teaches and travels North America and writes for horse publications. Blickle and her husband raise and train their mustangs and quarter horses at their eco-sensitive guest ranch, Sweet Pepper Ranch, in sunny Nampa, Idaho.

3 Responses

  1. re: Firewise Landscaping for Horse Properties

    Thanks! I’m so glad you each found it interesting. I enjoyed researching and writing it. And, since I too live in a fire-prone area it hits home for me as well.

  2. re: Firewise Landscaping for Horse Properties

    Living in a Texas area with many wildfires, this article is terrific and supports what the Texas Forest Service has also been putting out.  They have not gone into such detail especially about barns.

  3. re: Firewise Landscaping for Horse Properties

    Amazing info on a subject that I never thought about.  I’m looking forward to learning more.

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