Defensible Space

Defensible space is the required space between a structures and the wildland area that, under normal conditions, creates a sufficient buffer to slow or halt the spread of wildfire to a structure. It protects the home from igniting due to direct flame or radiant heat. Defensible space is essential for structure survivability during wildland fire conditions.


For more information about defensible space zones and preparedness techniques within each, visit the Firewise Communities website,


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Zone One extends 30 feet out from buildings, structures, decks, etc.


  • Remove all dead or dying vegetation.

  • Trim tree canopies regularly to keep their branches a minimum of 10 feet from structures and other trees.

  • Remove leaf litter (dry leaves/pine needles) from yard, roof and rain gutters.

  • Relocate woodpiles or other combustible materials into Zone Two.

  • Remove combustible material and vegetation from around and under decks.

  • Remove or prune vegetation near windows.

  • Remove “ladder fuels” (low-level vegetation that allows the fire to spread from the ground to the tree canopy). Create a separation between low-level vegetation and tree branches. This can be done by reducing the height of low-level vegetation and/or trimming low tree branches.



Zone Two extends 30 to 100 feet out from buildings, structures and decks.

You can minimize the chance of fire jumping from plant to plant by removing dead material and removing and/or thinning vegetation. The minimum spacing between vegetation is three times the dimension of the plant.


  • Remove “ladder fuels.”

  • Cut or mow annual grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches.

  • Trim tree canopies regularly to keep their branches a minimum of 10 feet from other trees.


This zone extends from the edge of zone 2 to the property line and is an area of traditional forest management to enhance the overall health of the forest and benefit wildlife.