Forest fire is very scary, especially when it is near your home.

Idaho Firewise- Protect Your Home from Wildfires

Fire Resistant Landscapes are Key to Protecting Your Home from Wildfires

Idaho Firewise is dedicated to educating homeowners about fire protection for their homes. One of the most frightening experiences is seeing your home surrounded by wildfire and being powerless to do anything to stop it. Idaho Firewise wants to show homeowners the principles of designing defensible space with fire-resistant landscapes and fire-resistant plant materials.


Defensible space is divided into three zones

Zone 1- Your buildings and the first 30 feet. The plant materials here should be green and clean. Use low-growing, fire-resistant plants, and turf and remove leaf litter, etc. Use gravel mulches rather than wood materials.

Zone 2- From 30 to 100 feet. The plant materials in this space should be pruned and groomed, with firewood and propane tanks on non-flammable pads. Tree canopies separated by at least 18 feet. Trees should be pruned up to 6-10 feet with cleared spaces underneath, no other plantings under the trees.

Zone 3-100 feet and beyond to the native vegetation. Remove any dead plants, thin and prune as needed, provide irrigation.

View Firewise Plants on Gardentronic

Gardentronic has added images and information on many of the Firewise plants. If you want to view plants that are on the Firewise list, search here Plants Then in the search bar, type the words "firewise" you will then see a display of plants in our database that are from the Firewise website.

Each plant will have information on Firewise's recommended planting zone. How far away should this plant be from my buildings to maintain a defensible space? Should I plant 30 feet away to protect my home, or do I need to put them 100 feet away? Here are a few examples:

These have a 10 Firewise score and can be planted a minimum of 5 feet from your home (all groundcovers)


Autumn Stonecrop 'Black Jack'

'John Proffit' Ice Plant

Looking to plant beautiful perennials? Here are the best-rated ones


Jupiter's Beard

Both of these have a 10 Firewise rating and will provide summer-long color to your yard.

Here are some shrubs that are rated by Firewise

Mock Orange spp. With a Firewise score of 8, these are best planted 30 feet or greater from your home to maintain a defensible space.

Snowberry The snowberry shrub also has a score of 8, click on the link for more information and to see the photo.

Red Stem Ceanothus

Trees and Firewise

Crabapple The crabapples beautiful spring blooms will grace your home and with a Firewise score of 8 is best planted 30 feet from your home.

Sumac There are a lot of good reasons to plant sumac, and the Firewise rating of 8 is one of them.

Many of the evergreens that grow well in Idaho have been given a Firewise rating of 1, meaning it is recommended they be planted 100 feet or more from your home to maintain the best defensible space.

Jeffrey Pine

Rocky Mountain Douglas Fir

Giant Sequoia

Find the more than 150 Firewise plants listed in GardenTronic here:

Visit the Firewise Demonstration Gardens

The best way to understand a concept is to see it in real life. Firewise has several demonstration gardens in Idaho to show landscaping principles in action.

There are currently eleven

Firewise demonstration gardens in Idaho. Find them here:


See the Firewise website for more information.