For the full list of tips and checklists, please visit Calfire’s website.
BEING READY—WILDFIRE PREPAREDNESS
Being Ready for wildfire starts with maintaining an adequate defensible space and by hardening your home by using fire resistant building materials. Defensible space is the buffer you create by removing dead plants, grass and weeds. This buffer helps to keep the fire away from your home. Hardening your home means using construction materials that can help your home withstand flying embers finding weak spots in the construction, which can result in your house catching fire. It takes the combination of both Defensible space and the hardening of your home to really give your house the best chance of surviving a wildfire.
MAINTAIN DEFENSIBLE SPACE
Keep your property lean and green to help protect your family and home.
Defensible space is essential to improve your home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. It’s the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surround it. This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire and it helps protect your home from catching fire—either from direct flame contact or radiant heat.
Defensible space is also important for the protection of the firefighters defending your home. Flying embers from a wildfire can destroy homes up to a mile away. Taking the necessary measures to harden (prepare) your home can help increase its chance of survival when wildfire strikes.
A fire-resistant landscape isn’t necessarily the same thing as a well-maintained yard. This type of landscape uses fire-resistant plants that are strategically planted to resist the spread of fire to your home. Fire resistant plants are great in California because they are often drought tolerant, too.
The good news is, you don’t need a lot of money to make your landscape fire resistant. And you will find that a fire-resistant landscape can increase your property value and conserve water while beautifying your home.
Choose Fire-Resistant Plants and Materials
- Create fire-resistant zones with stone walls, patios, decks and roadways.
- Use rock, mulch, flower beds and gardens as ground cover for bare spaces and as effective firebreaks.
- There are no “fire-proof” plants. Select high-moisture plants that grow close to the ground and have a low sap or resin content.
- Choose fire-retardant plant species that resist ignition such as rockrose, ice plant and aloe.
- Select fire-resistant shrubs such as hedging roses, bush honeysuckles, currant, cotoneaster, sumac and shrub apples. Cotoye Brush is also a popular option.
- Plant hardwood, maple, poplar and cherry trees that are less flammable than pine, fir and other conifers.
Check your local nursery, landscape contractor or county’s UC Cooperative Extension service for advice on fire-resistant plants that are suited for your area.
Before wildfire strikes, it is important that you get Set. Prepare yourself and your home for the possibility of having to evacuate. Getting set requires three main preparation actions that should be completed and familiar to all members of your household long in advance of a wildfire.