Before A Wildfire

On average, there are more than 5,600 wildfires each year in California. Use the following tips to help protect you, your loved ones and property from wildfires.

Defensible space is your first defense against a wildfire

Download the "Why 100 Feet?" defensible space flyer from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
 
A defensible space is an area 100 feet around your home that can help reduce the risk of spreading wildfire to your home or vice versa.
  • Landscape your home with less flammable plants such as hardwood trees versus pine or fir trees, and keep them well spaced. Keep plants to a minimum and away from your home. Check your local garden store for more plant information.
  • Maintain landscape regularly (e.g. mow lawn; rake fallen leaves, twigs, branches and other dead vegetation; and properly prune branches). Remove branches and vines that are connected from the ground to the upper levels (these acts as ladders for fire to climb).
  • Contact your energy technicians to report power line hazards (such as hanging branches).
  • Stack firewood about 30 feet away from your home.
  • Additional safety precautions are required if your home is on a slope, please contact your local fire department for additional information.

Protect your home

  • Treat your roof, walls, fences, decks and other connected structures with UL-approved-fire retardant chemicals and/or use materials like stone, brick, and metal. Avoid using wood materials.
  • Select fire resistant materials such as double pane glass windows.
  • Clean your roof, gutters and patio of leaves and waste.
  • Keep sparks out – cover exterior attic, and other vents with wire mesh no larger than 1/8 of an inch.
  • Install smoke detectors in your home.
  • Maintain the chimney.

Prepare your family

  • Discuss an evacuation plan with the family, plan two escape routes out of your home and your neighborhood, by foot and by car. 
  • Ensure each member of the family knows where the fire extinguisher is located and how to use it.
  • Download and print the American Red Cross Wild Fire Safety Checklist.

Also learn what to do:

 
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