Defending Against Wildland Fires

It seems clear that the frequency and size of wildland fires is growing across the US and abroad. One thing that we know for sure is that they are devastating and that sometimes, there is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop them in their path. In those moments, all the preparation in the […]

Australian Fire and Straw –

firefighter helping koala

First of all, I want to extend a word or two of support and sympathy for our brothers and sisters down under as the fires of a heat wave have torn through their beautiful land. Having personal experience with wildfire, I know the challenges and hardships they can create. Several years ago, a roughly six […]

Staying Fire Wise: Attic Vents and Wildfire –


I live in the country and am quite aware of the places fires start: leaves under the deck, debris in foundation vents, trees not properly maintained near the house, etc. If you live in fire prone areas, be sure to read on about attic vents and wildfires. Dear Andrew, My sister was an evacuee in […]

Straw Bale Homes Protect Against Fire Where Conventional Homes Fail

Conventional Home on Fire

We have all seen images of the massive fires in southern California. I would first like to send out my sympathy to anyone affected by the flames. I would also like to send out my respect and gratitude for the firefighters who risk their lives and give their all to defend the homes and lives […]

More on Fire Rating in Straw Bale Wall Systems

Conventional Home on Fire

This is a response to a comment about bale buildings and their fire rating. The author of the original email challenged the fact that conventional buildings only have a twenty minute burn time and that they do not actually have a chimney affect like I describe. I disagree and you can see my response below. […]

Fireplaces in Bale Walls

fireplace in straw bale wall

It is very common for home owners to want a fireplace these days and the addition of flames into a straw bale wall assembly is often a cause for concern to the local building inspector. Most of today’s stoves, either direct vent gas units or wood units, are designed to have minimal clearance around them […]

Wall Street Journal Article About Straw Bale Wall Fire Testing 2

Conventional Home on Fire

Sorry it has been so long since I last wrote. Things have been very busy around here with building and preparing all the paperwork necessary to start and fund the next four houses we will be building. We start the foundations of 2 next week, have one ready for baling, and one is a major […]

Straw Bale Fire Video and Fire Wall Testing

tree on fire

This video is from my online video newsletter called “The Straw Bale Minute”. It focuses on the fire testing on straw bale walls. Want to learn more about straw bale houses and how to build one? Want to do so for FREE? Sign up for our totally free 16 Day Straw Bale eCourse! Find out […]

Straw Bale Homes and Wildfires


I received the following e-mail yesterday regarding the fire resistance of straw bale homes: “I have a 10 year old straw bale house in Flagstaff, AZ. I heard that in the wildfires over the last few years that straw bale homes incinerated. Have you heard that?” Here’s my reply: Thanks for your email and you […]

Fire Testing Straw Bale Wall Systems: They Pass!!

house survives fire

FIRE TESTING STRAW BALE WALLS I received an email today from Bill Christensen, the proprietor of It holds some very exciting news on recent fire testing of straw bale wall assemblies. Of course, those of us building straw bale houses have known that they are extremely resistant to fire; however, now we have proof […]