REDDING, Calif. - CAL FIRE inspectors will fan out across the state over the coming weeks, checking 31 million acres for appropriate defensible space, and telling property owners what to do to clear their property the right way.
The CAL FIRE office in Redding hired four new inspectors this week. Their top priority will be making sure people follow defensible space rules.The inspectors will visit different problem areas in Shasta and Trinity counties, passing out pamphlets and informing property owners about defensible space guidelines.
Generally, homeowners should have 100 feet of defensible space around their home. The guidelines show that space split into two "zones."
Zone one is the first 30 feet around your home. That zone should be completely clear of all dead and flammable vegetation, including woodpiles, flammable brush, dead plants, weeds, and dead grass.
Zone two is the next 70 feet. You can keep your wood piles there but grass should be no taller than four inches.
Fire Captain Specialist Darren Stewart says in a blaze, firefighters will go in and do structure protection around your home. Then they will leave, and go to the next property. If you don't have that first 30 feet cleared properly, your home could burn down even though firefighters tried to save it.
"Embers will get in there and they'll smolder around plywood, (or) piles of leaves next to the house and then, within a few hours, that will light into fire and spread to the house,"says Stewart.
Stewart said you won't get a ticket if you don't pass inspection the first time, but if you don't make the required changes by the third inspection you will face a citation.
For more information you can go to: ReadyForWildfire.org