How to Improve My Defensible Space

Defensible Space is the buffer around a home where the vegetation has been managed to reduce the wildfire hazard. By creating defensible space around your home, it increases the chance of home survival and provides a space for firefighters to safely defend the home during a wildfire event.

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Consider the Location & Setting

Think about the location and context of the home and how that influences vulnerability to wildfire:

Steep Slopes

When homes are located on steep slopes, decks commonly overhang the slope below, and this downslope area is often heavily vegetated. Prioritize defensible space actions so that flames from burning vegetation cannot reach the underside of the deck and ignite, with subsequent ignition of the home.

Dense Neighborhoods

Dense neighborhoods with homes close together have an increased risk of building-to-building ignition because of the radiated heat and potential flames that are generated if a neighbor’s home burns. Prioritize actions to reduce the possibility of homes igniting each other. Intensify defensible space by thinning trees and shrubs between homes. Engage in neighborhood conversations to encourage all neighbors to take actions to reduce their own vulnerability to wildfire.

Large Parcel

When homes are on large-parcel lots and neighboring homes are far apart, vegetation and other combustible materials on the property (e.g., wood pile, tool shed) can be a large factor in home ignition. Prioritize creating and maintaining defensible space, including the near-home noncombustible zone, and home-hardening techniques to reduce vulnerability from embers.

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