How to Protect Your Home from a Buffelgrass Fire
The Sonoran Desert is being transformed into a flammable grassland by buffelgrass, an African grass that was brought to the U.S. for cattle feed and erosion control.
When dry, buffelgrass is extremely dangerous. It is highly flammable and burns nearly twice as hot as other grasses, with temperatures approaching 1600°C. (Hot enough to melt most metals.)
Buffelgrass has spread throughout the Tucson Valley. You can see it growing along roadsides, around homes and businesses, and in washes, vacant lots, alleyways, and parks.
There are two ways you can eradicate buffelgrass to protect your home and property. You can spray the plants with an herbicide or pull them out by hand.
If 50% or more of the plant is green (like in the photo above), herbicides can be used. If less than 50% of the plant is green, manual removal is the best method. It is easiest to pull buffelgrass after the soil has been soaked by rain.
Pulling by Hand:
Fire safety experts recommend surrounding your home and other structures with a 50-foot defensible space that is free of buffelgrass and other flammable materials. Because buffelgrass is so hardy and the seeds can stay dormant for years, you will need to continuously monitor your property for re-sprouting plants or new infestations.
Visit http://www.buffelgrass.org to learn more about buffelgrass and report your removal efforts.