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Defensible Space

Creating a defensible space is the primary goal of brush clearance. This involves clearing vegetation, such as shrubs, tall grasses, and small trees, from around homes, buildings, and other structures. By maintaining a clear zone, the spread of wildfires can be slowed or stopped before they reach valuable assets. A defensible space also gives firefighters a safe area to work in while they defend your home. Many regions with wildfire concerns have specific regulations and guidelines in place that dictate the extent and frequency of brush clearance. Property owners are often required to comply with these rules to reduce the risk of wildfires.We know the ins and outs of Public Resources Code  Section 4291 and can make sure you have the best chance of surviving a wildfire.

Zone 0 - Ember Resistant Zone Zone 1 – Lean, Clean and Green Zone Zone 2 – Reduce Fuel Zone

Defensible Space Preparations Include:

  1. Zone Structure: Divide the defensible space into zones to prioritize different actions:

    • Zone 1: The immediate area around the home (0-5 feet) should be clear of flammable materials, including leaves, dead vegetation, and woodpiles.

    • Zone 2: The area from 5 to 30 feet away from the home should include well-spaced and fire-resistant vegetation, with taller trees pruned to reduce ladder fuels.

    • Zone 3: Extending from 30 to 100 feet or more from the home, this zone should have well-maintained, lower-density vegetation, reducing the overall fuel load.

  2. Vegetation Management:

    • Remove dead or dry vegetation from all zones.

    • Space trees and shrubs to prevent the spread of fire from the ground to the canopy.

    • Regularly prune and maintain vegetation to reduce fuel load.

  3. Fire-Resistant Landscaping:

    • Use fire-resistant plants and materials in landscaping to reduce the risk of fire ignition.

    • Create "fire-resistant islands" of plants closer to the home.

  4. Thinning and Pruning:

    • Thin the vegetation to reduce its density and prevent crown fires.

    • Prune trees to remove lower branches that could act as ladder fuels.

  5. Home Hardening:

    • Use fire-resistant building materials for roofing, siding, decks, and fences.

    • Install ember-resistant vents, screens, and windows.

    • Maintain roofs and gutters to prevent ember accumulation.

  6. Ember-Resistant Features:

    • Use screens over vents to prevent ember intrusion.

    • Close off eaves to prevent ember entry.

    • Use ember-resistant mesh materials in and around the property.

  7. Clearance Around Structures:

    • Maintain a non-combustible area (0-5 feet) around the home, including decks and porches.

    • Store firewood and other flammable materials at a safe distance from structures.

  8. Firebreaks:

    • Consider creating firebreaks to act as barriers and slow down the spread of wildfires.

  9. Maintenance and Monitoring:

    • Regularly inspect and maintain the defensible space throughout the year, especially during high-risk seasons.

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