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- Defensible Space for Fire Prevention
Long standing residents and newcomers alike are requested to clear a safe and defensible area five feet around structures on their property, from the furthest attached exterior point of their home or structure.
- Remove flammable materials away from this area; including mulch, flammable plants, green waste (leaves, weeds, trimmings, brush), stacked wood, and any other combustibles.
- Do not stack firewood or other combustibles against the structure.
- Clear invasive weeds and plants from this area regularly.
- Keep gutters and your roof clear of dead leaves and debris.
- Prune trees at least ten feet from chimneys.
- Repair or replace damaged tiles, screens, and keep vents clean and clear of debris. 1/8 inch metal mesh screening is recommended to reduce embers.
- Remove belongings being stowed under decks or porches.
5-30 feet from the furthest exterior part of the home is the Intermediate Zone. Integrating breaks and clearing space in this zone can influence and help to decrease fire behavior.
- It is suggested to keep native grasses and lawns in this area trimmed to a maximum height of 4 inches.
- Clear flammable plant matter and green waste debris from under and nearby large stationary propane tanks.
- Remove ladder fuels (flammable plants and items) from beneath tree canopies.
- Consider and create fuel breaks such as walkways, paths, and driveways to deter the spread of a fire, should one occur on the property.
Additional Landscaping Considerations:
- If possible, space trees with a minimum of 18ft between them.
- It is recommended trees and shrubs in this zone be limited to small, spaced-out clusters. This creates spatial breaks between flammable materials.
- Consider tree placement so mature canopies are further than ten feet away from structures on the property.
- Prune trees (tall enough) six to ten feet from the ground.
These are defensible space precautions to take 30- 100 feet, and beyond, on the property.
- Don’t let flammable plant material or garbage accumulate in heaps or piles.
- Remove dead plant and tree material (including packrats nests) from the property.
- Clear flammable vegetation from surrounding structures.
- Make a 6ft cleared space at the base of saguaros.
Here is an image depicting a successful example of defensible space in action,
protecting a home from a fire outbreak.