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Keep Oregon Green Association, Inc.

PO Box 12365

Salem OR  97309-0365

Phone: (503) 945-7498

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Mail: jmmiller@odf.state.or.us

Fire Resistant Plants

for Home Landscapes

More Wildland Fire Prevention Information:

Defensible Space             Additional Precautions             Fire Resistant Plants

What are Fire-Resistant plants?*

Fire-resistant plants are those that do not readily ignite from a flame or other ignition sources. These plants can be damaged or even killed by fire; however, their foliage and stems do not significantly contribute to the fuel and, therefore, the fire’s intensity. There are several other significant factors that influence the fire characteristics of plants, including plant moisture content, age, total volume, dead material, and chemical content.

Plants that are fire-resistant have the following characteristics:

     within the plant.

Most deciduous trees and shrubs are fire-resistant.

Taking Action

When landscaping around a home, most homeowners are interested in creating a landscape that is aesthetically pleasing, complements their home, and has variations in color, texture, flowers, and foliage. When selecting plants, you also should consider the flammability of plants (i.e., fuel), particularly if your home is located in or adjacent to a forest or rangeland.

Homeowners should take active steps to minimize or reduce the fuel and fire hazard around their homes, including the use of fire resistant plants in the landscape. Equally important is proper plant placement, plant spacing, and ongoing plant maintenance. These practices, when combined, can create a fuel break and help protect your home by blocking intense heat.

Flammable plant material in your landscape can increase the fire risk directly around your home. The 1991 Oakland Hills fire in California is a prime example of how flammable plant material (Eucalyptus trees) can act as fuel and contribute to the intensity of a wildfire. More than 3,000 homes were destroyed.

Click here for more information about fire-resistant plants

* Most of the information on this page, and more can be found in Fire-Resistant Plants for Home Landscapes,

a Pacific Northwest Extension publication, PNW 590 - August 2006.