Wildland Fire Protection

What is defensible space? What can you do to make your home defendable from wildfire? Are you prepared? Defensible space is the area between a house and an oncoming wildfire where the vegetation has been modified to reduce the wildfire threat and to provide an opportunity for firefighters to effectively defend the house. Sometimes, a defensible space is simply a homeowner properly maintained backyard.

Before wildfire threatens, design and landscape your home with wildfire safety in mind. Select materials and plants that can help contain fire rather than fuel it. Use fire-resistant or noncombustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling. Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees.

Before, During & After a Wildfire

  1. Before
  2. During
  3. After
  • Create defensible space to separate your home from flammable vegetation and materials (minimum 100 feet).
  • Adhere to all local fire and building codes and weed abatement ordinances.
  • Keep all trees and shrub limbs trimmed so they do not come into contact with electrical wires or overhang your chimney (Do not trim around power lines yourself, call a professional).
  • Prune all lower branches 8 feet from the ground.
  • Keep trees adjacent to buildings free of dead or dying branches.
  • Stack firewood away from your home and other buildings (Keep clearance around your piles).
  • Keep roof surfaces clear of pine needles, leaves and debris at all times.
  • Install spark arresters for each chimney.
  • Clean chimneys and check and maintain spark arresters twice a year.
  • Keep rain gutters clear of debris at all times.
  • Use approved fire-resistant materials when building, renovating or retrofitting structures.
  • Install electrical lines underground if possible.
  • Be sure your house numbers show clearly from the street, both day and night.
  • Store combustible or flammable materials in approved containers.
  • Store all important papers in a fireproof container or keep copies at another location.
  • Make evacuation plans with family members. Include several options with an outside meeting place and contact person. Practice regularly.
  • Keep battery-operated radios and flashlights with additional fresh batteries on hand.