Defensible Space: Are You Ready?

Lovely spring weather is here, making it the perfect time to start or finish defensible space preparations.

Defensible space is the area between your home and on oncoming wildfire where vegetation has been managed to reduce the wildfire threat.  Defensible space improves your home’s chances of surviving a wildfire.

Defensible space is mandated by California Public Resources (PRC) Section 4291 which sets the requirement for defensible space around structures in mountainous, grass or brush covered lands, or land that is covered with flammable material.  PRC 4291 requires defensible space of 100 feet from each side and the front and rear of the structure, but not beyond the property line.  It was enacted to improve fire safety and help prevent catastrophic wildfires.

Defensible space does not mean property has to be cleared to bare soil.

Two zones make up the required 100 feet of defensible space.  Zone 1 is within 30 feet of the structure.  Zone 2 is within 30 and 100 feet.

In Zone 1, remove all dead plants, grass, and weeds; remove dead or dry leaves and pine needles from your yard, roof, and rain gutters; and keep tree branches trimmed 10 feet away from the chimney and other trees.

In Zone 2, cut or mow grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches; create horizontal spacing between shrubs and trees; and create vertical spacing between grass, shrubs, and trees.

More information on defensible space is available in the Resources section of our website.


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