Mowing a meadow for fire safety - is it necessary?
Do we need to mow our dry meadow for fire safety? Our homeowners' association in Camp Sherman has an 11 acre dry meadow with a community well. The soil is sandy alluvial silt, with very little structure or organic material. We have been annually mowing the grasses (mostly brome and some bunchgrass) each summer to reduce the risk of fire to houses adjacent to the meadow. Over the years, mowing has damaged the soil, and cheatgrass and maresail have moved in. The mowing also helps the weeds take over by spreading their seeds. To fight the weeds, we have drill seeded native bunchgrass seed, but would also like to stop mowing to help the grasses recover and combat the weeds. Is this creating a fire risk?
Jefferson County Oregon
The grass seeding should not be an issue, but generally anything you can do to keep the grass low and green during peak fire season will lower the fire risk.