Wildfire Worries: How the Defensible Space Keeps Your Home Safe

Wildfire Worries in Northern CaliforniaA rainy October may have pulled Northern California out of its five-year drought, but that hasn’t solved the problem for the entire state just yet. In fact, three-fourths of the state still suffers from dryness, particularly Central and Southern California. The risk of wildfires remains high. As a residential property owner in drought-stricken California, you can protect your home and family from wildfires by being vigilant about implementing your fire hazard prevention practices.

Furthermore, you should familiarize yourself with the state law-required Defensible Space, which serves as a dead area that could prevent a fire from spreading.

The Defensible Space

Aiming to safeguard the people as well as protect property and resources of the state, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection published a homeowner’s checklist on making homes fire-safe. One of the things on the checklist is the creation of a 100-foot Defensible Space around each home.

Two zones make up the Defensible Space: a “Lean, Clean, and Green Zone” and a “Reduced Fuel Zone.” The creation of a Lean, Clean, and Green Zone involves the removal of all flammable vegetation within the 30 feet that immediately surround your home. Meanwhile, the Reduced Fuel Zone is the remaining 70 feet or to your property line.

The Suggested Solutions

Advantage Grading and Engineering says that property owners should be responsible about keeping their land free from any hazards that may affect fire spread and have an impact on the community at large. This is why you should observe proper fire hazard prevention practices in your Defensible Space.

For further fire hazard prevention, your property landscape should have fire-resistant plants that you regularly maintain with water. Remove dead branches, leaves, and needles from your plants and keep your trees’ lower branches at least six feet from the ground. Also, be careful with operating equipment for clearing vegetation because even the smallest spark could start a fire.

Guarding against wildfires is a community responsibility. You should, however, take care to do your part as an individual. Remain vigilant about fire hazard prevention practices to protect your family and property — whether there is a drought or not.