SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California law requires homeowners to maintain 100 feet of defensible space around homes and structures to increase you home’s chance of withstanding a wildfire.

More than eight million people own homes and businesses in wildland areas, meaning that homes and communities exist in areas that once burned as part of a natural process.

The 100 feet of defensible space is broken down into two zones.

ZONE 1: 30 feet of “Lean, Clean & Green”

  • Remove all dead plants, grass, weeds.
  • Remove dead/dry leaves and pine needles from your yard, roof, rain gutters.
  • Keep tree branches at least 10 feet away from your chimney and other trees.

ZONE 2: 30-100 feet of Reduced Fuel

  • Cut or mow grass to a maximum height of four inches.
  • Create horizontal spacing between shrubs and trees.
  • Create vertical spacing between grass, shrubs, trees.

Credit: CAL Fire

CAL Fire offers a few more suggestions:

  • Select less flammable plants
  • Plants shorter than 2 feet are safer than taller plants
  • Herbaceous plants that are kept green are a better choice than shrubs and trees
  • Deciduous trees (tress that shed their leaves) are safer than evergreens
  • Avoid planting juniper, pine, and palm trees
  • Clear all flammable vegetation from within ten feet of propane tanks

If you notice tree limbs encroaching overhead lines you’re asked to contact your utility company.

CAL Fire also provides homeowners with a checklist to make their homes fire safe.



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