Township of West Milford
Emergency Management

Main Page

Wildfire Safety Sheets

Back to OEM

 Practice Wildfire Safety

People start most wildfires. . . find out how you can promote and practice wildfire safety.

 ·  Contact your local fire depart­ment, health department or forestry office for information on fire laws. Make sure that fire vehicles can get to your home. Clearly mark all driveway entrances and display your name and address.

 ·  Report hazardous conditions that could cause a wildfire.

 ·  Teach children about fire safety. Keep matches out of their reach.

·  Post fire emergency telephone numbers.

·  Plan several escape routes away from your home by car and by foot.

 ·  Talk to your neighbors about wildfire safety. Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a wildfire. Make a list of your neighbors’ skills such as medical or technical. Consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs such as elderly or dis­abled persons. Make plans to take care of children who may be on their own if parents can’t get home.


Fire-safe Landscaping Can Save Your Home: A Factsheet on Rural Fire Safety  and Prevention

 Wildland fires destroy hundreds of homes and acres of land every year across the country. Fire-safe landscaping is an effective tool that creates an area of defensible space between your home and flammable vegetation that protects against devastating fires.

 The United States Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to keep fire safety at the forefront by learning how to landscape and maintain your property to minimize possible fire damage and slow fires if they start. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility... Fire Stops With You!

 Defensible Space Works

 During the 1993 raging Malibu fires, a number of homes were saved as a result of the owners’ careful pruning and landscaping techniques that protected their homes. In a fire situation, the deed trees and shrubs surrounding your home act as fuel for fire. Removing flammable vegetation reduces the threat of fire. Follow these basic rules to create defensible space that-works.

 ·  Remove all dead plants, trees and shrubs from the site.

·  Reduce excess leaves, plant parts and low-hanging branches.

·  Replace dense flammable plants with fire-resistant plants.

·  The choice of plants, spacing and maintenance are crucial elements in any defensible space landscaping plan.

 Tips for a Fire-safe Landscape

 ·  Create a defensible space perimeter by thinning trees and brush within 30 feet around your home.

·  Beyond 30 feet, remove dead wood, debris and low tree branches.

·  Eliminate small trees and plants growing under trees. They allow ground fires to jump into tree crowns.

·  Space trees 30 feet apart and prune to a height of 8 to 10 feet.

·  Place shrubs at least 20 feet from any structures and prune regularly.

·  Plant the most drought-tolerant vegetation within three feet of your home and adjacent to structures to prevent ignition.

·  Provide at least a 10 to 15 foot separation between islands of shrubs and plant groups to effectively break-up continuity of vegetation.

·  Landscape your property with fire-resistant plants and vegetation to prevent fire from spreading quickly.

      ·  Check your local nursery or county extension service for advice on fire resistant plants that   

          are suited for your environment.

      ·    Create fire-safe zones with stone walls, patios, swimming pools, decks and roadways.

      ·    Use rock, mulch, flower beds and gardens as ground cover for bare spaces and as

           effective firebreaks.

      ·    There are no ‘fire-proof’ plants. Select high moisture plants that grow close to the ground   

           and have a low sap or resin content.

      ·    Choose plant species that resist ignition such as rockrose, iceplant and aloe.

      ·    Fire-resistant shrubs include hedging roses, bush honeysuckles, currant, cotoneaster,     

           sumac and shrub apples.

      ·    Plant hardwood, maple, poplar and cherry trees that are less flammable than pine, fir and

           other conifers.

 Maintain Your Home and Surrounding Property

 ·  Maintain a well-pruned and watered landscape to serve as a green belt and protection against fire.

·  Keep plants green during the dry season and use supplemental irrigation, if necessary.

·  Trim grass on a regular basis up to 100 feet surrounding your home.

      ·  Stack firewood at least 30 feet from your home.

      ·  Store flammable materials, liquids and solvents in metal containers outside the home at 

          least 30 feet away from structures and wooden fences.

      ·  No matter where you live, always install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test

          them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new 

          long-life smoke alarms.


For More Information Contact:

   The United States Fire Administration

Office of Fire Management Programs

        16825 South Seton Avenue

         Emmitsburg, MD 21727


Print out the following fact sheets and checklists:

Check here for more wildfire information on this site:  Wildfires

ăTownship of West Milford OEM


To send email to Emergency Services please click here:

Mailing Address:  1480 Union Valley Road West Milford NJ 07480

Site location:  13 Edgar Drive West Milford NJ 07480