As we make our way into spring, it is a good time to start thinking about getting our yard cleaned up and that means making sure we have adequate defensible space. Effectively managing the vegetation around your home is something we can all do to help reduce the threat of wildfire, not just for your property but for your neighbor’s property as well.
Let’s Get Started
- Within the first 5 feet of the house – routinely remove all dead vegetation, including shrubs, fallen branches, grass, weeds and flowers, as well as dead or dying standing trees or recently fallen trees.
- From 5 to 30 feet of the house, remove every spring. Needles and leaves that fall after the removal period can accumulate on the ground if they do not create a fire hazard. More than 30 feet from the house, do not allow fallen needles and leaves to exceed a depth of 3 inches.
- Thin dense shrub stands to create more space between them. Depending on the slope of your terrain, shrubs or small clumps of shrubs should be separated from one another by at least twice the height of the average shrub. More distance is needed on steeper slopes.
- Ladder fuels are vegetation that can help the fire climb up from low-growing plants to adjacent taller shrubs and trees. Remove shrubs and trees growing under the drip line of trees and remove low-hanging branches not to exceed the bottom 1/3 of the tree’s height.
- Clearing debris and vegetation from the first 5 feet away from your house can make a significant impact and get you started.
- Move your wood pile at least 30’ from your home.
- Remove pine needles from the roof and roof gutters, and under deck areas.
- Consider fire-resistant landscaping.
Maintaining a defensible space is an ongoing activity. Each Spring, re-evaluate your defensible space and implement the necessary recommendations. Also consider your home vulnerability and review the Wildfire Home Retrofit Guide for recommendations on how to retrofit exiting components of a home to withstand wildfire.
Take advantage of our FREE Curbside Chipping service available starting May 9, 2022.
Please note the following guidelines when requesting this service:
- Piles must be curbside and easily accessible.
- The branch diameter cannot exceed 6 inches.
- Pile must not contain stumps, roots, garbage, nails, lumber, or pine cones.
- Pile must not exceed 30 feet in length, 6 feet in height, and 6 feet in width.
Chips will be left on-site and can be spread around the property for landscaping or erosion control, but not within 5 feet of a structure. If you choose to spread the chips within 30 feet of a structure, ensure that mulch beds are separated by noncombustible areas, such as dirt, rock, or pathways. Also, ensure that mulched areas do not contain highly flammable vegetation.