Your Lawn In A Drought: Conserve Water Or Reduce Fire Risk?

Jul 29, 2015

When it comes to watering your lawn during drought and wildfire season, what’s the sweet spot between water conservation and fire hazard?

The Northwest is in drought, and that means there’s a greater risk for wildfires. So people are hearing mixed messages -- especially where their lawns are concerned.

Climatologists say conserve water, let it go brown.

But others, including city leaders, say keep it wet to reduce fire risk.

“I think this is showing us just how complex managing this drought is,” said Oregon Climate Research Institute associate director Kathie Dello. “The sweet spot is, just don’t waste water. If you’re watering lawn at 2 p.m. on a 95 degree day, you’re wasting it because it’s evaporating.”

Dello said if you have to water your lawn, do it early in the morning or late at night. If you let it go brown, that’s fine too, but keep it short and be fire-safe around it.