Research Explores How Agricultural Landscapes Could Reduce Wildfire Risk

Researchers in New Zealand have been exploring the flammability of various crop plants as a means of mitigating fire hazards on agricultural lands. Their findings suggest that crops with low flammability could be strategically planted to reduce wildfire risk in agricultural landscapes. Vegetables, some pasture plants, and wine grapes had particularly low flammability, while cereal grains, fruit trees, and raspberries were highly flammable. The scientists suggest in an article in The Conversation that low-flammability crops could be planted as a perimeter firebreak and as a protection for structures, while highly flammable crops could most safely be planted in areas embedded among fields with less flammable vegetation.