Wildfire seasons have been getting more and more intense, and losing crops and facilities to fire is a very real concern for many hemp and cannabis growers. Taking the following precautions can go a long way in protecting your hemp/ cannabis operation from wildfire.
Keep Fuel at a Minimum
Pay attention to anything that could act as fuel and remove what you can. Clear away excess vegetation, including dry grasses, scraps dropped from plants, straw mulch, and any other dry material that could ignite easily and help a fire spread quickly. Being mindful of potential fuel and clearing it away before the threat of fire can go a long way in preventing damage if a wildfire does occur.
Use a Sprinkler System
The wetter an area is, the less likely it is to ignite and burn in a wildfire. Using a sprinkler system to keep plants, structures, and any other potential fuel damp can mean the difference between saving your farm and losing it. Place sprinklers facing outwards around the perimeter of the property and on the roofs of buildings and structures. There are a number of sprinkler systems available that are designed specifically for wildfire prevention and suppression.
Cut a Fire Line
Cutting fire lines and creating barriers are strategies that wildland firefighters use to stop fires from spreading into specific areas. You can integrate the same principles into your own fire-protection tactics for your cannabis operation by cutting fire lines and/or making gravel barriers. A fire line is simply an area in the ground that has been cut down to the mineral soil, making it difficult for fire to cross this barrier. The wider your fire line, the more effective it will be. Place fire lines around the perimeter of the property. You can add even more protection by adding a layer of gravel around the perimeter of the fire line.
Have a Power Backup System
If your power is cut due to wildfire threat and/or you have to evacuate, it is important to have backup power generators so that your watering systems, security cameras, and other automated processes can continue to run in your absence. Make sure that you have adequate backup power set up and ready before you need it.