Wildfire Preparation

Wildfire will always be a part of the California landscape. Landowners and residents must consider how their home, gardens, and community play a role in achieving greater wildfire resiliency. 

Use the following resources to understand your risks, identify resources, and to develop strategies to substantially improve the odds your property can survive future wildfire. These actions do not have to be costly, but require an understanding of the three main types of exposures a home may experience when threatened by wildfire.

What you can do

Homes survive wildfire through a combination of:

1) careful landscape selection, placement, and maintenance

2) awareness and management of combustible materials on the property (e.g., leaf litter or lawn furniture) during your fire season

3) incorporation of fire and ember resistant construction materials, installation details and maintenance.

Use the suggestions below to learn how to harden your home by reducing its vulnerability. Keep in mind that developing wildfire resilience is more than having a metal roof or stucco siding.

Ember-resistant construction relies on awareness of seemingly small details that can make your home vulnerable to embers, in addition to building with appropriate materials, and regular home and property maintenance.

Identify Your Local Fire Hazard Ranking

Click on the map to find information about fire hazards in your area.

Harden Your Home

Whether you are building a new home or caring for a older home, there are simple actions to take to improve the chance the home will survive wildfire exposures. 

 

Create Defensible Space

Defensible space does more than just preventing fire from reaching your home and giving you safe evacuation routes. Defensible space also gives fire professionals a safe or "defendable" area to stage their personnel and equipment.

Reduce Fuels in the Landscape

Work strategically to thin and prune trees, mow grass, and reduce shrubs along evacuation routes, roads, and other control points. These broader actions can help reduce the energy of an oncoming fire and create places for fire personnel to work. 

Fire-Safe Landscaping

Plant placement is the most important criteria when it comes to plant selection.  Vegetation that touches the siding, is located in front of windows or under eaves and vents, and/or under or near a deck will increase the likelihood that a home will be ignited from wildfire.