Why defensible space is key to protecting your home from wildfires

Local News

FRESNO, California (KSEE) – If you live next to a natural area, also known as the Wildland Urban Interface, defensible space is critical to protecting your home.

Removing weeds, brush and other vegetation keeps the fire away from your home while reducing risks from flying embers.

Requirements for defensible space are highest closest to your home.

Zone One extends 30 feet out from structures such as buildings or decks. Requirements include:

  • Remove all dead or dying vegetation
  • Trim tree canopies regularly to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from structures and other trees
  • Remove leaf litter and pine needles from the yard, roof, and gutters
  • Remove combustible material and vegetation from around and under decks
  • Remove or prune vegetation near windows
  • Remove ‘ladder fuels’ or vegetation that allows the fire to spread up from the ground. Separate low vegetation and materials like patio furniture and woodpiles – and keep these from tree branches.

Zone Two extends 30 to 100 feet from buildings, structures, and decks. You can minimize the chance of fire jumping from plant to plant or other non-vegetative combustible by removing dead material, as well as removing, separating, and thinning vegetation. The minimum spacing between vegetation is three times the size of the object. Other recommendations include:

  • Remove ladder fuels
  • Cut it mow grass below four inches
  • Trim tree canopies regularly to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees
  • Loose surface litter including leaves, needles, cones, and bark should be less than three inches thick.

Visit readyforwildfire.org for more information.

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