As it starts to cool down it is a good time to start doing work to improve your homes defensible space. Creating good defensible space can greatly increase the chances of your homes survival in a wildfire. Limbing trees, getting rid of dead and down, and thinning tree stands are all good methods for creating and maintaining your defensible space. Schedule a free home assessment if you need help identifying your hazards.
Here are some steps to get you started:
Step 1- Know Your Distance
The recommended distance of defensible space is different for all homes. The types of vegetation and terrain are key
factors when deciding how far out to extend the Defensible Space Zone. Most properties need 100-200 feet of defensible space.
Step 2- Remove the Dead
Within the Defensible Space Zone, remove all dead vegetation including dying trees, shrubs, branches, grass, weeds, needles, and leaves. Remove fallen needles and leaves within 30 feet from the house every spring. Do not allow a depth of more than 3 inches of duff and needles beyond 30 feet from the house.
Step 3- Create Separation
Areas of dense vegetation pose significant wildfire threats. Shrubs and trees should be thinned out so they are no longer continuous. Separate shrubs by a distance that is twice their height. Tree spacing varies but typically should be separated by10’ between branches on average. Large trees (>14″in diameter at 4.5’ from the ground) cannot be removed without a permit issued by NLTFPD or TRPA.
Step 4- Remove Ladder Fuels
Vegetation allowing fire to climb up from the forest floor to the canopy, are known as ladder fuels. Smaller vegetation such as shrubs and young trees should be cleared away from beneath larger trees.
Step 5- Lean, Clean, and Green
Remove fuels that ignite easily such as dead shrubs and trees, dried grass, pine needles, firewood, etc. Create a 5-foot noncombustible zone around the perimeter of your home, and keep your landscaping well-maintained.