Fire Prevention 101: Five Surprising Facts About Brush Fires

Brush Fire 2 ResizeBrush fires are scary.  They can destroy forests, crops, and all your landscaping efforts — not to mention your home and loved ones — in a very short amount of time.  You may be surprised to learn just how common they are in the US, and how dangerous.

1) One in every four fires is a brush fire.

Roughly one quarter of all reported fires are what the National Fire Protection Association calls ‘natural vegetation fires’.  This means that one of every four fires in the US takes place in dry brush, grass, or forests.

2) They don’t say ‘spreads like wildfire’ for no reason.

Wind makes brush fires spread like, well, wildfire.  And on sloped areas, even those as slight as 10 or 20 degrees, fires’ speeds can increase exponentially.  This means that even a small brush fire can turn into a deadly and destructive forest fire within minutes.

3) In some cities, brush fire prevention is the law.

Wildfire Risk Map

The problem is so severe that some local governments, including that of Los Angeles, have enacted mandatory brush mowing laws to help prevent such fires and keep them from spreading to houses when they do occur. 

4) You may live in a particularly high-risk area.

Brush fires are more common in some areas of the country than others — click the map at right to view larger  — but property owners should be mindful of the risk no matter where they are located.

5) There are simple ways to prevent brush fires on your property.

With the right tools and know-how, you can minimize your risk of experiencing a brush fire on your property.  Start by creating a fire break around your house, barn, and other structures at least 30 feet wide.  Think about your landscape design and avoid plantings (such as rows of trees) that could transmit flames from a nearby forest or field to your home.  Mow overgrown areas frequently, getting rid of dead, dry, and flammable materials.  The DR Field and Brush Mower is more than a property maintenance tool, it’s also a safety tool that could prevent a deadly fire on your property.

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