How can the design of landscapes in wildfire prone regions of Northern California protect property and influence flow paths? Firescaping in a hostile environment
PublisherDepartment of Urban Horticulture and Design of the State University of New York, Farmingdale State College
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AbstractThe economic and ecological impact of wildfires in the pacific northwest, namely Northern California, has been catastrophic and ecologically damning to the region. In Northern California, the citizens who are at severe risk of wildfire are posed with a life or death situation with every wildfire event. The scope of the design research is to establish: (1) How can landscapes be designed to control the spread of wildfires, and protect property utilizing grade change? (2) In a given property location, how can plant choice be utilized to provide fire suppression, or threat reduction by wildfire? Topographical grade changes, both severe and gradual, cause turbulence in air pockets that can be used purposefully to control flow paths of fire spread. Utilizing placement of berms and plant material, the flow path of air can be redirected around properties to prevent fire damage. There are several species of plant materials that are drought resistant, fire resistant; and post-fire event, germinate and grow rapidly to replace green area that was lost during the fire. Utilizing these (stated above) plant species, one could design defensible spaces that add aesthetic appeal and threat reduction to the property. The aim of the design research is to assess and implement landscapes with defensible spaces around the perimeter of properties, to help reduce fire load within close proximity of structures disrupting the fuel ladder, and utilizing topographical features to direct wind path and velocity around said properties. This design research is in a rural Northern California setting. The property is located on the leeward side of a large mountainous ridge, located in the valley between Democrat, Monarch and Mule Mountains in Norther California. Located outside of Redding California, the property (15685 Old Stage Coach Road) is an ideal location due to its survival of the Carr Fire.
DescriptionA Design Capstone submitted to the Department of Urban Horticulture and Design of the State University of New York, Farmingdale State College. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor’s of Technology In Landscape Development, May 2019 Long Island, NY. Advised by Professor Stevie Famulari, Gds. Course: HORT 474- Capstone.
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