Defensible Space

Creating Defensible Space

Within 30 feet of your home and its attachments:

Make sure plants are carefully spaced, low growing and free of resins, oils and waxes that burn easily.

  • Mow your lawn regularly.
  • Prune trees 6–10 feet from the ground.
  • Create a spacing of 30 feet between tree crowns.
  • Create a 'fire-free' area within 5 feet of your home, using non-flammable landscaping materials.
  • Remove dead vegetation from under the deck and within 10 feet of the house.
  • Water plants, trees and mulch regularly.
  • Consider xeriscaping if you are affected by water restrictions.

30 to 100 feet from your home:

  • Leave 30 feet between clusters of two to three trees, or 20 feet between individual trees.
  • Plant a mixture of deciduous trees, such as oaks and maples, and coniferous trees, like pines.
  • Create fuel breaks like driveways and gravel walkways.
  • Prune trees up 6–10 feet from the ground.

100 to 200 feet from your home:

  • Remove smaller conifers that are growing between taller trees.
  • Remove heavy accumulations of woody debris.
  • Reduce the density of tall trees so canopies do not touch.

The goal of Firewise landscaping is to lower the intensity of a wildfire as it approaches your home. Vegetation that encourages wildlife and enhances water or energy conservation goals can be part of a Firewise landscape as long as defensible space is maintained.

Aerial photo of barrier around building