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Creating defensible space to protect home from wildfires

An explanation on what defensible space is, and how it can protect homes from wildfires.

Posted: Mar 22, 2019 5:14 PM
Updated: Mar 22, 2019 5:27 PM

NORTH STATE, Calif. Wildfire season does not truly stop in Calfornia, but with the dry season approaching, it is more important than ever to have defensible space. 

Defensible space is where a person creates at least 100 feet of space where firefighters can come in and defend their home.

The space is made up of two homes: one within 30 feet of the home, and another 30-100 feet away from the home. 

Cal Fire says it is important to take initiative early and have a system in place. 

"Theres so much overgrowth in our community that its hard to achieve in a small time frame .. its really more a plan throughout the years and sometimes several years," said Susan Beler, a defensible space inspector for Cal Fire. 

Tips for creating zone one of a defensible space include:

  1. Removing all dead plants, grass and weeds
  2. Triming trees regularly to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.
  3. Removing or pruning flammable plants and shrubs near windows.
  4. Relocating wood piles into Zone 2.

Tips for creating zone two of a defensible space include:

  1. Cutting or mowing annual grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches.
  2. Removing fallen leaves, needles, twigs, bark, cones, and small branches

The Ready for Wildfire website has a full list of how to create defensible space. 

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