the base around your home that will give firefighters a fighting
chance against fire. It means clearing all dry grass, brush
and dead leaves at least 30 feet from your home, and at least
150 feet if you're on a hill.
key here is "at least." Your local fire department may
ask for greater clearance. Contact them for requirements in your
space and a fire safe landscape does not mean a ring of bare dirt
around your home. When establishing your landscape, keep trees furthest
from your house, shrubs can be closer, and bedding plants and lawns
are nearest the house.
home may be the biggest investment you ever make. Protect that investment
by following the steps in this brochure to create a fire safe landscape.
your fire risk. Is your home on a hill? Are you near highly flammable
native vegetation or drought-damaged ornamental plants? If your
answer is yes, your fire risk is greater than average.
Contact your local fire department for fire hazard ratings in
Plan your landscape to reduce the amount of flammable vegetation
nearest your home. Establish defensible space.
Consider consulting your local nursery or a landscape contractor
to help plan your landscape. Spacing
the "fire ladder." Fire needs fuel to burn. You can
sap its strength by robbing it of the continuous sequence of vegetation
that can carry flames from your landscape to your house.
plants of similar height and water requirements to create a "landscape
mosaic" that can slow the spread of fire and use water most
trees at least 10 feet apart, and keep branches trimmed at least
10 feet from your roof. For trees taller than 18 feet, prune lower
branches within six feet of the ground.
fire resistant, drought-tolerant plants that have a high moisture
content. Use plants that do not accumulate dead leaves or twigs.
masonry or stone walls to separate plant groups and add variety
to your landscape. Watering
the right irrigation system. While all plants will eventually
burn, healthy plants burn less quickly. Your plant selection and
water availability will determine the right system for you.
Consider drip irrigation for watering most of your landscape.
It's effective and conserves water because it targets where the
water goes and how much gets there.
sprinklers for lawns or turf landscaping. Drip irrigation does
not work well on lawns. Sprinklers on timers ensure your lawn
is getting the right amount of water to keep it healthy and fire
your landscape healthy and clean. On a regular basis, remove dead
branches, leaves and pine needles from your yard. These can serve
as added fuel to a fire.
Prune and thin shrubs, trees and other plants to minimize the
diligent about cleaning up, especially during fire season. Remove
dead leaves from under the plants as well.
your gardener. If a gardener cares for your property, ask him
or her to include these regular maintenance steps as part of the
plant materials. Participate in your community's green waste recycling
program. You can also compost plant litter and create a money-saving
alternative to store-bought soil and mulch. Grass cycling is another
time and money saving way to make your green waste work for you.
out more about Fire Safe!
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF), a department
of the Resources Agency of California, provides leadership and services
to protect and encourage sound land management of the forest, brush
and grass-covered lands in California.
Safe Landscaping is part of a series of fire safety informational
materials. Contact your nearest CDF fire station or one of the administrative
offices below for "Fire Safe Inside and Out," a homeowners'
guide to fire safety inside the home and out.
1416 Ninth Street
P.O. Box 944246
Sacramento, CA 94244
135 Ridgeway Avenue
P.O. Box 670
Santa Rosa, CA 95402