Three zones make up the required 100 feet of defensible space.

readySetGo graphics Defensible Zones

Zone 1 extends 0-5 feet out from your house, garage and other structures

  • Clean roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris and pine needles that could catch embers.
  • Replace or repair any loose or missing shingles or roof tiles to prevent ember penetration.
  • Reduce embers that could pass through vents in the eaves by installing 1/8 inch metal mesh screening.
  • Clean debris from exterior attic vents and install 1/8 inch metal mesh screening to block embers.
  • Repair or replace damaged or loose window screens and any broken windows.
  • Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
  • Move any flammable material away from wall exteriors – mulch, flammable plants, leaves and needles, firewood piles – anything that can burn. Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches.

ZONE 2 extends 30 feet out

  • Remove all dead plants, grass and weeds (vegetation).
  • Remove dead or dry leaves and pine needles from your yard, roof and rain gutters.
  • Trim trees regularly to keep branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.
  • Remove branches that hang over your roof and keep dead branches 10 feet away from your chimney.
  • Create a separation between trees, shrubs and items that could catch fire, such as patio furniture, wood piles, swing sets, etc.

 

ZONE 3 extends 100 feet out

  • Cut or mow annual grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches.
  • Create horizontal spacing between shrubs and trees. (See diagram)
  • Create vertical spacing between grass, shrubs and trees. (See diagram)
  • Dispose of heavy accumulations of ground litter/debris.
  • Remove dead plant and tree material.
  • Remove small conifers growing between mature trees.
  • Remove vegetation adjacent to storage sheds or other outbuildings within this area.
  • Trees 30 to 60 feet from the home should have at least 12 feet between canopy tops.
  • Trees 60 to 100 feet from the home should have at least 6 feet between the canopy tops.

 

Plant and Tree SpacingThe spacing between grass, shrubs, and trees is crucial to reduce the spread of wildfires.

Horizontal spacing depends on the slope of the land and the height of the shrubs or trees. Check the chart below to determine spacing distance.

Horizontal Clearance

Remove all tree branches at least 6 feet from the ground.

 Vertical Clearance

Example: A five foot shrub is growing near a tree. 3×5 = 15 feet of clearance needed between the top of the shrub and the lowest tree branch.

Fire-safe landscaping isn’t necessarily the same thing as a well-maintained yard. Fire-safe landscaping uses fire-resistant plants that are strategically planted to resist the spread of fire to your home.