The bushfire season of 2019-2020 left our nation in a smoldering, blackened state. Many homes were lost, wildlife killed or injured, and communities left wondering how on earth they were going to rebuild. With many debating the circumstances and what might have been done to prevent such a widespread travesty, we all know that regardless of whether steps were taken or not, bushfires in Australia are inevitable. So, with summer fast approaching, and along with it, the fire season, we thought we would compile a list of facts and steps you can take to help protect your property and home from bushfires.
Keep on top of regular mowing and watering. All turf types should be irrigated during summer as this helps reduce the risk of bushfires threatening homes as green lawns won’t burn. A well-maintained lawn has a low flammability and risk of ignition, so be sure to keep this in mind over the coming months.
Watering needs vary across Australia, however, it has been found that watering before 10am can maximise water usage, as there is less evaporation likely to occur. During summer, lawns of the Couch, Buffalo and Kikuyu species that receive full sunlight should be watered 1-3 times per week.
Choose less flammable greenery
Some plants, particularly natives, are fire prone, so do your research before you buy a dozen flammable plants to spring around your backyard. Another note to consider is Sir Walter Buffalo Grass, with its origins in the Indian Ocean area, thrives in a tropical, subtropical or warm climate. With that in mind, it is typically green during summer which makes it a great turf to have in fire-prone areas.
Create a buffer zone
A buffer zone helps break up the path of a fire. This can be a paved walkway, veggie patch, driveway etc. These buffer zones also aid in defending your property against fire.
The 4 points to effective ‘firewise design’
- Create defendable space.
- Grass should be no more than 10cm tall
- Remove flammable objects from around the house
- Break up fuel continuity
- Mown grass between vegetation can create a break between ‘fuels’ (i.e plants, bushes, hedges)
- Carefully select, locate and maintain trees
- Trees can ignite, transfer and fuel fire
- Maintaining branches can help reduce risk
**Some other handy hints to take note of:
- Clean up old, dry leaves and branches
- Trim back hedges, and overhanging branches and plants
- Clean your gutters!
While these handy hints won’t stop a bushfire, they may assist in preventing or fuelling one. All we can do is try our best to protect our homes, loved ones and community. For more turf tips, or to order turf for your yard, contact us through our website.