Home Evaluation Tip
Inorganic mulches like decorative gravel offer superior fire resistance and should be used when mulch is needed within 5 feet of buildings or attachments. More than 5′ from structures, composted wood chips are the best choice for residential landscape use. They are organic and will still burn, but tend to burn less intensely and with lower flame lengths.
What’s the right mulch?
Mulch plays an important role in retaining moisture in the soil and keeping vegetation healthy. Most mulches are combustible, and in a wildfire-prone landscape, these can be a major contributor to home ignition.
Maintaining noncombustible, ignition-resistant areas immediately adjacent to structures in Zone Zero (or within 5 feet) is particularly important. Embers often accumulate adjacent to structures, providing an ignition source for combustible materials.
Inorganic mulches such as decomposed granite, gravel, or rocks offer superior fire-proofing as landscape mulches and should be used when mulch is needed within 5 feet of buildings, siding, or decks.
What do I do about it?
- Remove or replace combustible mulch within 5 feet of structure with gravel or stone mulches.
- More than 5′ from structures, replace combustible mulch with composted wood chips, which are the best choice for residential landscape use.
- Fire-Resistant Mulch
- Zone Zero: Ground Zero When Protecting Your Home from Wildfire Highlight Reel
- Ecologically Sound Practices for Defensible Space