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Green Firewall

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I am in an area that is prone man made forest fires set by hunters to flush game that go out of control. What are ways to protect land from getting burned to ashes? One approach seems to be to use a tractor each dry season to plow under a large swath around the perimeter. That approach in this case is impractical due to the rugged nature of the area. I am wondering if there might be something that can be planted that might stop fires from spreading across them as sort of a green firewall. Or any other tehcniques welcome.

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There has been a fair bit of research in this area here in Australia using plants to protect property from fire , altho to be successful it would include a couple of strategies. Unfortunately most people seem to know only the litter reduction strategy . But green,fleshy foliage plants in belts around your property to either fully protect or to offer partial protection. Plants such as agapanthus and certian succulents such as Carpobrotus glaucescens ( pigface), and maybe sedums (spp) and portulacca (spp) would be a good start. However it is wise to see that these plants don't end up as envirionmental weeds by letting them invade areas other than the areas you would like to protect. Also perhaps you could consider using swales to retain and distribute some moisture in areas that would front a blaze.

Edited by xen

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Good info and I love agapanthus, though I wonder if the plants mentioned could survive the dry season of Thailand and if so would provide some fire resistant during the dry times? I can't think of a way that would keep such a large and non-uniform area irrigated deep enough into the dry season when they would be needed. I sure would like to know more about the research that has taken place so I don't end up repeating the same mistakes and recreating the wheel so to speak.

One idea I am contemplating is planting vetiver (หญ้าแฝก): pics info. My thinking is this is pretty tough stuff useful on steep terrain and can scythe it down going into the dry season and it will spring back in the wet for weed protection. Experiences or comments welcome.

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Good info and I love agapanthus, though I wonder if the plants mentioned could survive the dry season of Thailand and if so would provide some fire resistant during the dry times? I can't think of a way that would keep such a large and non-uniform area irrigated deep enough into the dry season when they would be needed. I sure would like to know more about the research that has taken place so I don't end up repeating the same mistakes and recreating the wheel so to speak.

One idea I am contemplating is planting vetiver (หญ้าแฝก): pics info. My thinking is this is pretty tough stuff useful on steep terrain and can scythe it down going into the dry season and it will spring back in the wet for weed protection. Experiences or comments welcome.

The plants i nominated are ornamentals and the succelents store water in their fleshy foliage. You will often see portullacas grown everywhere in Thailand in gardens because of their brightly coloured flowers, and the pigface is an arid region plant. There are many more , but they were the ones from the top of head as i writing. It is also important to determine the type of fire that offers the most potential threat. May I suggest having a look at some of the older Permaculture literature, especially the manuals by Bill Mollison. When i was studing we had several lectures on fire retardant plants and strategies but, alas, my notes are long gone, . There are also SEPP's (State Envirionmental Planning Procedurees ) for bushfire planning and designs . I think it is SEPP 65 from memory but they are contantly being revised . PM me if you would like me to chase a bit more up and give you a few directions to look at.

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:blink:

I guess there must be plants that will give you some protection from fire. I just don't know what that would be offhand. Just my guess though that the only real true protection you can rely on is a firebreak, a plowed and cleared gap that has no matierial in it to burn...so that a fire can't get through it. That's what they use to control brush & forest fires in the U.S. national forests. Make a two meter gap, and only the biggst fires (if it's that big, nothing will stop it anyhow) can jump it. And if you have trees, and the fire is up in the canopy (a crown fire) almost nothing will stop that fire either. Another problem is that if a fire is sending out hot embers/sparks that travel thru the air for up to 100 meters, there is no way to stop other spot fires starting from those embers.

But we'll assume that the fire is small enough to be manageable. Obviosly what you need is some plant with a lot of water in it, and is green at the end of the dry season, not dry. I would think you might want to look into the possiblity of ditches with water in around the property you want to protect, with irrigation for whatever plants you choose. It might be costly to get good protection if brush fires are common. But if your trying to avoid damage to such a valuable fruit trees, it might still be worthwhile.

Maybe you should also consider the use of controlled fires to burn away brush just at the end of the wet season...to make firebreaks for the dry season. If there is nothing to burn, a fire can't spread thru there. So burn a gap that the fire can't jump. Just be careful.

:blink:

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There's probably an alternate way to approach the threat of wildfire.

I thankfully don't have a fire problem,

but irrigation sprinklers are the logical solution.

In a matter of 15 minutes even on a blazing hot day with fire approaching,

you can soak everything beyond burnable.

Give it an hour and it's better yet.

2" PVC line

Sprinklers 10 meters on center

Line buried 0.50m with 2" risers

1.5 meter above ground, 2.0 meter total

reduced to 3/4 pipe on top.

Super Products RC-160 Sprinkler

consuming roughly 20 liters / minute at 25 meters line pressure.

Sprinkler radius 12 meters => 24 meter diameter

Measure the length of your fire prone perimeter,

run the pipeline at the property line so as to sprinkle over into the outside area,

determine the number of sprinklers, divide by 10 meters each

find the total flow rate, multiply by 20 lpm per sprinkler

specify a pump to deliver the total flow at 25 meters pressure

Prepare water availability for running the system an hour per incident.

In fire threatened areas in the western US,

homeowners use it as a great reason to maintain a swimming pool.

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There's probably an alternate way to approach the threat of wildfire.

I thankfully don't have a fire problem,

but irrigation sprinklers are the logical solution.

In a matter of 15 minutes even on a blazing hot day with fire approaching,

you can soak everything beyond burnable.

Give it an hour and it's better yet.

2" PVC line

Sprinklers 10 meters on center

Line buried 0.50m with 2" risers

1.5 meter above ground, 2.0 meter total

reduced to 3/4 pipe on top.

Super Products RC-160 Sprinkler

consuming roughly 20 liters / minute at 25 meters line pressure.

Sprinkler radius 12 meters => 24 meter diameter

Measure the length of your fire prone perimeter,

run the pipeline at the property line so as to sprinkle over into the outside area,

determine the number of sprinklers, divide by 10 meters each

find the total flow rate, multiply by 20 lpm per sprinkler

specify a pump to deliver the total flow at 25 meters pressure

Prepare water availability for running the system an hour per incident.

In fire threatened areas in the western US,

homeowners use it as a great reason to maintain a swimming pool.

Now we know why you're called 'waters edge'. That's really good information and I've forwarded to my arborist friend in California where we do some consulting in landscape fire safety issues, mostly related to pruning out deadwood, raising canopies of trees to eliminate 'ladder effect' of fire transferring into the canopies of trees from grasses and shrubs below, clearance from roofs of structures, and appropriate planting designs. Attached is an interesting article, it's from California, but there are some general principles that may apply here.

Fire_Resistant_&_Pyrophytic_Plants1.pdf

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WatersEdge: The area in question is enormous so I wish to avoid irrigation as part of the solution. If in the end I have to lay kilometers of PVC that would be a real shame to me environmentally speaking. I am hoping there is a more practical solution.

drtreelove: excellent pdf. On that list aloe just might be the right choice as I have seen that it can do well year round without water here. The one puzzling thing about that pdf is the end says "The shrub cover should not exceed 30% of your defensible space landscape." However, it does not seem to specify the makeup of the other 70%. The pictures aren't really legible which might shed some light on this so a color scan would be helpful in illustrating what they are discussing. But I got a lot of good information out of it already none the less.

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