Defensible Space, Fire Resistant Landscaping, and Fire Hazard Reduction
Providing a “defensible space” can reduce the risk of structural damage caused by fire. This space, at least 100 feet wide in California, is the area surrounding a structure where plants are maintained to decrease the fire hazard and provide an opportunity for firefighters to safely defend your home. Vegetation that does not ignite easily should be planted in the defensible space. Landscape plants protect soils from erosion and provide aesthetic and ecological benefits. Trees and shrubs are acceptable as long as they are widely spaced and do not provide a continuous path of fuel for a fire to climb from the ground to a tree crown or roof (a fuel ladder). Proper landscape maintenance can dramatically improve the fire safety of a yard.