A new Fire Resistant Demonstration Garden provides local residents with real examples of how to implement the Oakland’s requirements for defensible space, including types of plants appropriate to our climate and topography and types of mulches in situations common to residences in the Oakland hills.
Locating the demonstration garden at the Gateway Emergency Preparedness Exhibit Center builds on the center’s long history of providing practical information to help local residents better prepare themselves for wildfires and earthquakes that are known hazards in the Oakland and East Bay Hills. Created in 2003 by 1991 Oakland Hills’ Firestorm survivors, the Gateway Exhibit Center provides visitors with information on the history of earthquakes and firestorms in the Oakland Hills.
Using the Exhibit Center structure as an example of a home structure in the Oakland hills, the plan calls for three planting zones:
Zone 1 No Burn – using pebbles and low growing succulents planted from 0-5 feet from the structure
Zone 2 Defensible Space—well-pruned, maintained trees and shrubs and low flammable plants less than 2 feet in the area 5- 30 feet from the structure
Zone 3 Larger Lot Defensible Space—Well-pruned, maintained trees and shrubs spaced appropriately for the slope of the hill, ground fuels kept to no more than 4” in height 30 to 100 feet from the structure.
In addition to showcasing appropriate plants and mulch, new educational panels help provide visitors with practical information about lowering the risk of a fire spreading from your garden to your home.
The Oakland Firesafe Council offers docent-led tours of the demonstration garden as well as presentations to local home owner groups, garden clubs, CORE groups and others interested in learning more about living in the wildland urban interface of Oakland. Click here to schedule a presentation.
Please help us make this garden a reality. Click here to donate today.