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Fire officials urge residents to check “defensible space”

Wildfire season is underway, but it’s not too late to get your home prepared.


"This fire season will probably last until the middle of October at least,” Cal Fire Battalion Chief Bob Ellis said. “It can go all the way till the end of October. I've also seen it go into December."


Ellis said residents are required to have 100 feet of defensible space around their home. That area is broken up into two zones. Zone one is the first thirty feet around the residence; Zone two is the next seventy feet.


"We want dead plants, dead leaves moved away,” Ellis said referring to zone one. “If you've got green grass that's a wonderful thing, but the grass needs to be cut low."


Ellis said zone two is the fuel reduction zone. Trees and shrubs should have space in between them to limit the possibility of the fire spreading.”


"Cut limbs,” Ellis said. “If you have limbs on trees or brush that goes all the way to the ground, cut it up a little ways."


He adds this step was particularly useful in the Butler Fire.


"There was a community there— 7 or 8 homes they were very well prepared for fire,” Elllis said. “They had limbed up their trees, they had cut down the brush, they had good defensible space."




"Clearance around your home isn't going to be a 100 percent guarantee your home won't be damaged by a wildfire,” Ellis said. “But it gives you the best possible chance of surviving."


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