Fact File

Defensible Space Tips from CAL FIRE

When Creating Defensible Space Keep These Tips in Mind:

• all equipment with an internal combustion engine must be equipped with an
approved and operable spark arrestor.
• Metal blades striking rocks can create sparks and start fires. Use caution.
• to protect water quality and habitat do not remove vegetation associated with
water, avoid using heavy equipment near waterways and do not clear vegetation
near waterways to the bare mineral soil. keep soil disturbance to a minimum.

Other hints to secure a lean, clean, green zone:

• select less flammable plants for your lean, clean and green zone: shorter plants (less than 2 feet) are safer than taller ones. If kept green, herbaceous plants (grass and non-woody flowers) are better choices than shrubs and trees. If planting shrubs and trees, choose deciduous (trees that shed their leaves) ones over evergreens. Avoid planting juniper, pine and palms.
• Remove tree limbs that are touching the house or deck, or are within 10 feet of
the chimney. If limbs are encroaching on overhead lines, contact your telephone
or power company for removal.
• Use hard surfaces (concrete, stone, asphalt, brick, etc.) in your landscaping.
• Clear all flammable vegetation from within 10 feet of propane tanks. 

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