Protect your home from wildfire
Above-normal rainfall in winter and spring can lead to an abundance of vegetation, which can become extremely flammable as the seasons change. If you live in the foothills, your property faces a real fire risk. But the threat of wildfires is not limited to communities in heavily wooded areas. Because many new neighborhoods are often nestled next to agricultural fields and desert areas, they are also vulnerable to damage from wildfires.
Set up defensible space
Defensible space gives fire fighters room to put out fires. Maintain at least 30 feet of lean, clean and green space surrounding your home.
- Lean: Prune shrubs and cut back tree branches, especially within 15 feet of a chimney.
- Clean: Remove all dead plant material from around your home. This includes dead leaves, dry grass, firewood and any other combustibles.
- Green: Use fire-resistant vegetation, where possible, and keep it healthy. Local landscape specialists can provide more details about these types of plants.
Look after home landscaping
Proper care of your plantings can help prevent them from becoming flammable.
- Plant trees a safe distance apart.
- Take out or limit the "ladder fuels": vegetation that serves as a potential fire link between grasses, shrubs, trees and structures.
- Maintain your irrigation system to keep plants from drying out.
- Remove dead vegetation from your roof and yard, and dispose of debris promptly.
- Cut overhanging branches and prune tree limbs so the lowest is six to ten feet from the ground.
- Refuel garden equipment carefully and maintain it regularly.
- If you smoke, use an ashtray.
Form an emergency plan
Prepare for a fire emergency now, and take a few minutes to discuss your emergency plan with your family.
- Post your local fire department telephone number in a visible spot.
- Decide where you will go and how you will get there in the event of a fire. Map out at least two escape routes out of your home and out of your neighborhood.
- Keep important tools ready, such as a working hose, two-gallon bucket, shovel, rake, axe and handsaw or chainsaw.
- Practice family fire drills, and include your pets. Evacuations for wildfire can occur without advance notice. When wildfire conditions exist, be alert.
Protecting your home from wildfires is your responsibility. Please follow the suggestions on this page to protect your property.
Go to the national FIREWISE Communities program for more fire prevention tips.